Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (April 14, 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 17 April 2023
Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (June 7, 2022)

Aravalli restoration 

Haryana’s forest department has proposed a two-phase plan to restore Aravalli forest land in Dadam hills in Bhiwani district, the state government informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Most parts of the Aravalli ranges here have been lost due to illegal mining.

The plan’s first phase will comprise filling the pits created by Govardhan Mines and Minerals, the contractor involved in mining. An inspection by the state mining department found several deep pits, which are up to a depth of 300 feet. Some of the excavated pits will be used as water catchments.

There are also plans to establish a facility for raising native species and plants endemic to the area. Phase two of the project will focus on land reclamation. It will be done by carrying out soil amelioration and re-vegetation activities, the government said in its report.

NGT was hearing a case against illegal and unscientific mining, which led to the death of five people following a landslide at the Dadam mining zone.

In a separate matter, Haryana’s chief secretary has also informed the tribunal of the constitution of a board for rejuvenating the Aravallis.

A proposal has been submitted to the competent authority for constituting an ‘Aravalli Rejuvenation Board’, the report submitted by the chief secretary said. After receiving approval, the information concerning the constitution and mandate of the board will be notified.

The tribunal sought the report after responding to a petition alleging illegal mining in the Aravalli hills of Gurugram, Mewat and Faridabad districts.

NGT, in a 2022 order, noted a lack of proper coordination between the administrative agencies, the police, the mining department, the forest department and the revenue department.

The tribunal had recommended setting up an autonomous statutory authority, ‘Aravallis Environment Management and Sustainable Development’, for integrated environmental management and sustainable development of the Aravalli range in Haryana.

Encroachments on ponds 

Three large ponds in Gajara village, Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh have been cleared of encroachment, the state government told NGT on April 11.

The tribunal was hearing a petition related to illegal encroachment on the ponds by constructing residential houses and dumping garbage and other waste.

In compliance with an NGT order, a joint inspection committee was formed earlier. The committee visited the ponds and directed the village development officer and the Gram Pradhan to free the ponds from pollution and encroachment.

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