Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (November 23, 2022)

Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal 

By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 23 November 2022

Kochi legacy waste

The Kochi Municipal Corporation (KMC) was “facing problems related with legacy wastes which accumulated in Brahmapuram plant”, it said in a report filed before the National Green Tribunal (NGT), November 21, 2022.

The KMC added that it had adopted biomining procedures to attain optimum solutions for treating the legacy waste. The responsibility of biomining has been entrusted to Zonta Infratech.

Some 559,103 cubic metres of legacy waste is spread over an area of approximately 40.25 acres, according to a drone survey done by the National Institute of Technology Calicut.

The 40.25 acres of land was divided into seven sectors and a volume analysis was carried out in each sector separately in order to calculate the volume of legacy waste.

The KMC claimed that it would be able to salvage 80 per cent of the land with biomining.

Biomining commenced January 20, 2022. So far, sectors 4,5,6 and 7 have been completed. That is, about 25 per cent of work has been done and 10 acres of land have almost been cleared.

About 30 tonnes of refuse derived fuel (RDF) has been dispatched to Dalmia Cement and the remaining RDF has been stored. The biomining procedure is expected to be completed within the stipulated time of June 2023.

The biodegradable waste received at Brahmapuram on a daily basis is approximately 190 to 210 tonnes and is being treated by window composting method and being converted to fertiliser.

The existing window compost plant is in a dilapidated condition and the KMC has to handle the whole waste generated daily.

“Due to the sinking of infrastructure, the window compost plant’s efficiency is coming down,” the court was informed. A new project has been taken up at the cost of Rs 79.28 lakh to solve the issue.

Nagaland waste and sewage

The quantity of waste generated in the state of Nagaland is 282.43 tonnes per day (TPD). Of this, 102 TPD gets processed. This means there is a gap of 180.43 TPD in waste processing, according to a report pertaining to solid waste and sewage in Nagaland filed by the state in compliance to an NGT order dated November 30, 2021.

The quantity of waste being disposed in landfills is 107.45 TPD and the quantity of legacy waste in the state is 153,010.97 tonnes. The landfill under Dimapur Municipal Council is not functional, as far as biomining is concerned.

There is a 91.2 million litres per day (MLD) gap between sewage generation and installed sewage treatment capacity.

Aerobic bacteria were procured and distributed to 26 urban local bodies (ULB) in order to effectively manage solid and sewage waste. Likewise, green bran organic bacteria for bioremediation of drains, dump sits, water bodies have also been distributed to ULBs.

Bhagmara mine pollution

The steps taken by Bharat Coking Coal Ltd for air pollution control at Bhagmara in Jharkhand are inadequate and the project proponent is liable to pay an environmental compensation of Rs 7,593,750, the NGT directed November 22.

The matter related to air pollution caused by burning of overburden (strata lying above coal seam) from the open cast mine at Bhagmara in Dhanbad district.

The court said the master plan for control of fire and rehabilitation is still under implementation. Some of the equipment for suppression of dust are still not operational and “even if there were historical violations, the project proponents remain accountable for remedying the same,” the order said.

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