Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (November 8, 2022)

Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal  

Published: Tuesday 08 November 2022

E-waste: NGT stresses on CPCB plan

Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) action plan on electronic waste management should be followed by state pollution control boards and pollution control committees, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed.

The tribunal was responding to a complaint against the burning of electronic wastes by unauthorised recyclers in the Sarurpur Industrial Area, Haryana, November 7, 2022.

These recycling units collected the leftover ash from electronic wastes and unscientifically dumped it in open areas and landfills. The units operating in Sarurpur Industrial Area burn approximately 40-50 tonnes of electronic wastes daily. This has made the region’s environment toxic, the applicant alleged.

The magnitude of air pollution is huge that visibility up to two-three kilometres is affected, the applicant noted.

Long-term exposure to these substances damages the nervous system, kidneys, bones and reproductive and endocrine systems. Some of them are carcinogenic, the application stated.

The tribunal had directed the CPCB to furnish a report on the same in March this year. The dismantlers and recyclers have been processing electronic wastes beyond their capacity, the CPCB report said. 

Ranthambhore music festival

The proposed musical festival near the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan should be held only with the requisite permissions, the NGT directed.

The festival should be permitted only according to the conditions stipulated by a joint committee.

“It appears to be difficult to rule out the possibility of disturbing the wildlife and eco-system by such a large event close to the tiger reserve,” read the order dated November 7, 2022.

The National Board for Wildlife, in coordination with other concerned authorities, should issue appropriate guidelines concerning such events, a bench comprising NGT Chairperson AK Goel said.

Pruning of trees

The NGT directed the principal chief conservator of forests, Himachal Pradesh and the district magistrate, Una to appear for the hearing of a case related to the pruning of 201 mango trees in the Una district.

Avinash Vidhrohi, a resident of Deoli village, Una had filed a petition regarding the issue in July this year.

The NGT had constituted a joint committee to look into the matter in July itself. The committee discussed slapping environmental compensation for the same. But there aren’t any mechanisms in place, the committee stated. The committee has also recommended creating a proper mechanism for pruning of trees.

Illegal mining 

The NGT has directed the district magistrate, Banda, to appear before the tribunal and assist the same in a case related to illegal mining in the villages — Nahri and Khalari — in Uttar Pradesh.

The tribunal was responding to a petition November 4, 2022.

Illegal mining, crushing and blasting units have been operating in violation of environmental norms, the petitioner argued.

The tribunal has also directed a joint committee to visit the mining sites, look into the applicant's grievances and verify the facts regarding compliance with environmental norms.

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