Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (May 3, 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: Thursday 04 May 2023

NGT orders demolition of illegal facility

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation to remove the constructions it had built without consent on the banks of the Tazhuthali Kuppam estuary in Chengalpattu district.

The constructions included toilets and compound walls along the estuary’s banks. “The existing thatched huts with concrete flooring can exist, but further permanent structures cannot be put up,” said the order, dated April 28, 2023.

Any intended construction can be done only after getting clearance from Coastal Zone Management Authority as per the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2011, it added. Two fishermen had filed a petition before the NGT alleging CRZ violations.

The estuary is near the Odiyur Lagoon — an ecologically sensitive area as it is a crucial Olive Ridley Turtle nesting site. Further, the estuary is rich in mangroves, seagrass beds, the petitioners said.

The fishing community here uses a larger net that covers the entire beachfront and converting the area into a tourist spot affects their livelihood. The state Tourism Development Corporation has admitted that the constructions were developed without proper clearance.

Illegal mining in Andhra

The Andhra Pradesh government has initiated the imposition of penalties on the land owners engaged in illegal mining in Kappaladoddi village, Krishna district, according to a state government report submitted to the NGT on May 1.

The authorities in Guduru tehsil stopped six vehicles in 2022 while transporting busaka (a mix of sand and alluvium), and fines were imposed on them. In addition, the authorities furnished the details of such landowners for taking further action against them, the report said. 

The royalty inspector, Mines and Geology, Vijayawada, has conducted a field-level enquiry and confirmed that illegal mining had occurred in Kappaladoddi village.

Improper waste management

Before the Swachha Sarvekshyan Abhiyan-2018 monitoring committee visit in 2017, the then chief officer of Municipal Council, Faizpur, Jalgaon district, shifted all municipal solid waste (MSW) to the mainstream of Dhadi river, a petitioner said NGT on April 26.

The dumped MSW was covered up with soil borrowed from other locations. Most of the waste has been drained during the previous rainy seasons. And it has been polluting the groundwater, the petitioner said.

Dhadi River, a tributary to Tapi, is a source of drinking water for various cities along Bhusawal to Surat. The report was uploaded to the NGT site on May 3.

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