Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (October 6, 2020)

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: Tuesday 06 October 2020

Jagannath Sagar

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Koraput, had sanctioned Rs 100 lakh under the Corporate Social Responsibility fund for 2020-21 to rejuvenate the Jagannath Sagar Lake, according to a report submitted by the district magistrate of Koraput to the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The report was uploaded onto the NGT website October 6, 2020.

The executive engineer of Koraput’s public health division had also identified the exact location for installation of wastewater treatment plants and prepared a plan and estimate to the tune of Rs 4,241.43 lakh, which was under process, the report added.

The tehsildar of Jeypore had initiated 54 cases under the Orissa Prevention of Land Encroachment Act, 1972, against unauthorised encroachers. They had occupied lands on the periphery of Jagannath Sagar.

The district administration had agreed to hire an amphibian weed harvester to de-weed the water body. It had also asked the chief executive of the Chilika Development Authority (CDA), Bhubaneswar, to depute a technical team that could visit the Jagannath Sagar and submit a feasibility report on de-weeding.

The executive officer of the Jeypore municipality would be visiting Jagannath Sagar to measure its exact dimensions, along with the area covered by weeds and submit the same to the CDA.

Odisha Laterite mining

It was not clear as to why environmental compensation was being recovered from drivers of trucks carrying laterite stone from mines in Khordha, Odisha, instead of the operators behind the illegal mining, the NGT said October 1.

The tribunal was responding to a case filed by Bidu Bhusan Harichandan about the illegal mining of laterite by the rat hole method, without following the standard operating procedures for mining and other environmental laws.

There were at least 40 different sites spread across 500 acres in Khordha district, including several villages namely Tapanga, Anda and Jhinkijhari under the Nijigarh Tapang panchayat, the petitioner said.

The NGT directed a joint committee to examine and submit a report on the identity of the persons running the illegal quarry and whether the Environmental Impact Assessment process had been followed while permitting the administration of Puri’s Jagannath temple to mine the area.

Stone mining in Jharkhand, Bengal

The NGT gave two months’ time October 1 to the states of Jharkhand and West Bengal for completing the process of assessing and recovering environmental compensation from illegal stone mine operators.

The tribunal, in its July 1 order, had directed Jharkhand to recover environmental compensation worked out by the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) from illegal stone mine operators.

It had also asked West Bengal to assess the damage and environmental compensation following the procedure laid down by the ICFRE.

However, both the states have asked for further time to complete the process.

Sawanpura Toran mining

The NGT October 5 directed the formation of a joint committee comprising the district collector of Sikar and the regional officer of the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board. The committee is to look into the matter of illegal mining in Sawanpura Toran village of Sikar district.

The committee will have to visit the spot and submit a factual and action taken report within four weeks.

An application was filed by the priest of the Dhwajband temple and others against illegal mining activities taking place near the temple and its adjoining water body. The excavation of minerals was being done without due clearances.

The application stated the state authorities were in collusion with the miner. The miner had been allotted a mining lease for minerals, mainly quartz and feldspar, on the land measuring 4.29 hectares near  Bhojmer village in Neem-ka-Thana tehsil.

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