Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (April 25, 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: Wednesday 26 April 2023
Down To Earth brings you top environmental cases heard in Supreme Court, high courts & National Green Tribunal

NCL, Bina project violated Air Act, 1981: UPPCB

Northern Coalfields Bina project in Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh is not compliant with the provision of the Air Act, 1981, stated the report by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) April 25, 2023. 

At present 129,236.85 tonnes of coal is still present at the site, according to the report sent by regional officer, UPPCB, Sonbhadra vide letter dated March 25, 2023.

Google satellite image showed that the dumping of coal in Krishnashila railway siding was not observed during 2017, two small patches were noticed in 2018 onward, which was continuously increasing up to 2020. 

A significant coal stockpile was observed in December 2022 in the area that comes under the jurisdiction of Northern Coalfield, Bina project, Bina, Sonbhadra, the image showed.

Due to spontaneous combustion of coal, ambient air quality of the area is being affected. UPPCB conducted ambient air quality monitoring in the area in question. An analysis report depicted that the values of particulate matter 10 was 460 microgram per cubic metre. This is approximately five times more than the permissible limit of 100 µg / m3. 

The UPPCB has imposed environmental compensation of Rs 4,43,40000 on NCL, Bina Project. 

The UPPCB report was pursuant to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order dated November 16, 2022 in the matter of Sandal Parveen Vs the Union of India & Others.

Dredging of Nandhaur river in eco-sensitive zone of Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary

The district magistrate of Nainital issued directions to concerned officials to “channelise the river in upside of Nandhaur” to avoid the flood situations in the Chorgalia region of district Nainital, following the directions passed by NGT February 24, 2023.

The government of Uttarakhand, through a letter dated January 7, 2022, had granted permission under the Uttarakhand River Dredging Policy, 2021 for the work of Nandhaur river channelisation. This will help in avoiding flood situations and save people of villages Chorgalia, Nanakmatta and Sitarganj. 

In view of the directions issued by the district magistrate, a joint committee of the officials from the state forest, revenue and irrigation departments was constituted. The joint inspection was conducted June 9, 2021 to avoid the flood situation. 

From the outfall of river Devhathe boulder, road base materials (RBM) and mud in huge quantities (about 1.40 kilometre length) has been stored at the outfall of river Kailash at Dubailbheeda Dhoka forest region, the team found. 

Because of that the river stream is diverted to the populated area and in that situation, the work of river channelisation is urgently required. It was also necessary to protect the right side of Nandhaur river from floods.

For channelisation of river and for clearing and removing RBM, permission was granted on January 1, 2022 for a period of six months for removal of RBM and it was also directed by the state government that the removed RBM material will be used in the construction of National Highway 87 only.

Morrum mining in Betwa river

The NGT sought response from a joint committee regarding a complaint of violation of environmental norms in the matter of morrum mining in the bed of Betwa River, Sarila tehsil of Hamirpur district, Uttar Pradesh. Morrum is a minor mineral that is derived from the weathering and disintegration of granitic rocks. 

The joint committee will comprise the District Magistrate, Hamirpur and UPPCB.

It was alleged in an application before NGT that the project proponent does not have the requisite environmental clearance, consent to establish or consent to operate). Mining is being carried out in the river bed against norms. No replenishment study has been carried out. Heavy machinery is being used, stated the application.

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