Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (November 28, 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: Tuesday 29 November 2022
Down To Earth brings you top environmental cases heard in Supreme Court, high courts & National Green Tribunal

Sewage and waste disposal in Ghaziabad

Sewage is entering the green belt in Loni, Ghaziabad, in the absence of a drainage system in a residential area, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) was told. 

Garbage was found dumped by the Nagar Palika Parishad, Loni, on the green belt and sewage was entering the area near the Ansal Estate, Loni, in Uttar Pradesh, a report by a joint committee submitted. 

The panel was constituted on the orders of the NGT March 11, 2022, that inspected the green belt and found waterlogging from Pavi Sadakpur, Puja Colony to Ansal, Sector C-1, Ghaziabad.

The municipal council representative said sewage comes from Pooja Colony, as there is no drainage system.

Regarding the waste being dumped by the municipal council, the representative of Nagar Palika Parishad, Loni, informed the joint committee that after screening, the garbage is being used for filling in the low-line area. 

The area has been waterlogged for a long time, the committee observed. A sample of effluent/sewer and groundwater samples from both sides of NH-709 were collected and submitted to a regional laboratory of Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB).

Sewage from residential areas should be disposed of in nearby sewage treatment plants through the drainage system, the joint panel suggested. 

Municipal solid waste should not be disposed of on the green belt and the waste already dumped should be disposed of at any other safe place as per the Municipal Solid Waste Rules, 2016, it further said.

Further, a proper sewer line should be established to dispose of sewage from the residential area so that there is no sewage and waterlogging.

The regional officer, UPPCB, Ghaziabad, vide letter dated June 27, 2022, has sent a letter to the executive officer, Nagar Palika Parishad, Loni, Ghaziabad. The executive officer was asked to execute the joint committee recommendations, the NGT was told. 

Sewerage gets filled in the green belt and when it overflows, it enters into Ansal State End and adjoining areas, an applicant, Hariom Gupta, had written to NGT. Further, he said hundreds of large trees have died due to the contaminated water of sewerage. 

The hazardous sewerage is also entering into the underground water streams, polluting the groundwater and harming the environment at large, Gupta submitted. 

Pollution in Sidhwan Canal, Ludhiana 

The NGT, November 25, 2022, directed a committee to submit a report on the state of Sidhwan Canal in Ludhiana, Punjab. 

Kuldeep Singh Khaira, in his complaint to the NGT, said Sidhwan Canal is highly polluted because of the dumping of plastic bags, polyester clothes waste and other nonbiodegradable material. 

There is huge encroachment along the sides of the canal, but neither the irrigation department of the Punjab government nor other authorities concerned have taken any action, Khaira said. 

The NGT instructed the committee to submit a factual report looking into the status of waste lying along the banks of the canal, the extent of encroachments and areas demarcated on both sides of the canal as ‘no activity zone’ and the action taken by the authorities concerned, if any.

Septic tank in river flood line

A septic tank constructed by the Nande Gram Panchayat of a district in Pune, Maharashtra, is located in the prohibited zone in the flood line of Mula river, the NGT was told. 

The tank in Mulshi tehsil between the bank of the river and its blue flood line, stated a November 25, 2022 report by a joint committee looking into the issue. The committee recommended the illegal tank be demolished.

In addition, the height of the approach road towards a proposed residential project was increased by backfilling, the report said. 

This affects the flow of surface run-off from agricultural lands into the riverine system during the rainy season and results in ponding water in agricultural lands, the committee found during an inspection.

The committee recommended that the project proponent should construct a cross-drainage structure.

The structure should be under the supervision of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) at appropriate locations in low-lying areas at the nullah portion for collection and drainage of surface run-off into riverine system. 

Further, the gabion walls constructed with natural aggregates for percolation and to surpass flood water into the riverine system are located within the blue line of Mula river.

The NGT, July 7, 2022, had directed a joint committee to report on alleged illegal constructions being raised on the blue line of Mula river, where no construction is legally permissible.

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