Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (October 13, 2023)

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: Monday 16 October 2023

Water harvesting structures in Dwarka housing societies

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) October 13, 2023 directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to file two reports on the factual situation of the rainwater harvesting systems installed in the housing societies of Dwarka and the remedial actions taken.

The court directed the reports be filed within eight weeks and that the DPCC officials and other authorities concerned be given protection where required during inspection.

There are 354 societies in Dwarka of which eight refused to let the inspection team enter the premises and samples of water were collected from 235 societies, said a compliance report filed on behalf of Delhi government on May 17, 2023 . 

The report also discovered contamination in the form of ammonical nitrogen and high levels of total dissolved solids in the samples from 180 societies. The reason for presence of ammonical nitrogen was not explained in the report. Any action taken by the authorities to remedy the situation was also not mentioned in it. 

The counsel for DPCC asked for four weeks’ time to ensure that appropriate remedial measures are taken and that the correct picture is reflected before the NGT. He also submitted a request for police personnel to accompany the DPCC teams for examination of the water samples at the eight societies. 

Haryana waterbody turned dumpyard

The NGT October 11, 2023 directed a committee be constituted to look into the allegations of pollution and encroachment of a waterbody in village Dhaliawas, Rewari district, Haryana. 

The committee would comprise authorities from the Haryana State Pollution Control Board, state irrigation and groundwater departments and the sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat, Dhaliawas.

The panel will inspect the pond in question, get water sample from the pond analysed, ascertain the source of pollution in the pond and submit a report within two months before the chairperson, Haryana Pond & Waste Water Management Authority. The authority, after going through the report, will then ensure that the remedial measures are taken within three months of receiving the report.

The applicant alleged the water in the pond has become so contaminated that it cannot be used for any purpose. Human waste, household and sewage dumps, effluents and bio waste was flowing into the pond and contaminating the water, they said. 

Also, all drains and sewage from the village were released into the pond through the adjoining human-made sewage line and solid and biowaste was also directly being dumped into the pond, the applicant further claimed. The pond has become a dumpyard, as a result of which the nearby soil was being damaged, vegetation was adversely affected and the contaminated water of the pond is leading to health hazards.

Petrol pump on Rapti river floodplain

The NGT October 11, 2023 directed a three-member committee to conduct a site inspection and prepare a report in response to allegations of the construction of a petrol pump near the Rapti river in Rajghat, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.

If any violations of norms in the installation of the petrol pump are discovered, a copy of the report will be sent to Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, which will take an appropriate decision in accordance with the law upon receipt of the report, the NGT said.

The area where the petrol pump is constructed is adjacent to the Rapti river and during the major flood, the area in question comes into submergence, the applicant alleged. 

Further, setting up a petrol pump is in contravention of the guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board contained in the memorandum dated January 7, 2020, the applicant’s counsel further submitted.

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