Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (January 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: Friday 13 January 2023
Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (June 7, 2022)

Conversion of residential units into apartments comes under SC scanner

The Supreme Court, January 10, 2023, banned the conversion of a single residential unit into apartments in Chandigarh. The apex court directed policymakers at the centre and state levels to make provisions for carrying out environmental impact assessment studies before permitting urban development.

It is high time to take note of the environmental damage on account of haphazard urban developments, the court said.

Deposition of construction debris in river

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed a joint committee to investigate the allegations of waste dumping during the construction of a 12-kilometre road from Itharna to Kukhai, Dehradun. The tribunal was responding to an application January 11.

“Construction waste has been dumped in the forest area damaging Banjh Tree Forest. The illegal and unscientific debris reaches down to river Jakhan which is a tributary to river Ganga,” the petitioner alleged.

A temporary lake was formed near Shambhuwala village due to the continuous deposition of debris in river Jakhan. Such activities have impacted the environment and public health in general in the nearby areas, added the petitioner.

Ramganga floodplain encroached

The NGT has directed a committee to probe into allegations of illegal constructions along the floodplains of river Ramganga, a tributary of Ganga. The committee will comprise members from the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board and the district magistrate, Moradabad.

The NGT directed the committee to submit a factual report, including details of action taken, if any, within two months.

Any construction on the floodplain of the river is prohibited, the complainant Adesh Kumar Yadav pointed out in his application before the NGT.

Illegal mining

An NGT bench directed a committee to investigate allegations of illegal mining being carried out in an Uttar Pradesh village. 

The bench of Justice Sudhir Agarwal of the NGT was looking into a petition alleging illegal mining at village Bhudmajra in Yamuna Nagar district. 

A mining agreement was to be carried out on 31 acres of land, a complaint to the NGT stated. The contractor concerned was supposed to carry out mining up to the depth of 27 feet, but in violation of the conditions of the mining licence, the contractor has gone up to 40 feet.

The contractor has extracted water illegally, impacting the aquifer levels.

“Further, no plantation has been done in violation of the conditions of mining and therefore, damage to the environment has been caused by the said contractor,” the petitioner stated.

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