Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (April 10, 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: Tuesday 11 April 2023

Okhla waste-to-energy plant

The Supreme Court (SC) refused to stay the proposed expansion of Okhla waste-to-energy plant. The apex court took the stand as the plant operator said it would take at least 18 months to complete. A bench of judges led by DY Chandrachud was hearing a petition on April 5, 2023.

Sand mining guidelines

SC directed the Centre April 5 to file a report containing all the “extant guidelines” applicable for sand mining in the country. The document should also inform the nature of controls listed for leases issued for mining in areas less than five hectares, the order said.

Road safety

The execution of a legislation that allows for the electronic monitoring of roads and highways to reduce fatalities and accidents has flaws that need to be fixed, the government acknowledged before the SC.

Section 136-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 had provisions to ensure that erring vehicle owners pay the fines through e-challans.

Only 7.61 per cent of drivers who were electronically charged in the previous four years paid their fines as on March 10, 2023, according to statistics provided to the court.

The court, on April 6, decided to list the matter to August 7, 2023, considering the interim report by the supreme court committee on road safety.

The road transport ministry plans “to standardise national guidelines for hardware and software so that there is uniformity across the nation with regard to the modalities for implementing Section 136-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988,” the report noted.

Brick kilns in Uttar Pradesh

There are 19,718 brick kilns in Uttar Pradesh, the state’s pollution control board (PCB) said in its report submitted to the National Green Tribunal March 31, 2023.

Of these, 11,838 kilns have obtained consent to operate (CTO) the PCB and 7,880 brick kilns operate without a valid CTO under the provisions of the Air Act, 1981.

Of these erring brick kilns, the PCB has issued closure orders against 7,466 and show cause notices have been issued against 414 defaulter brick kilns under 31A of the Air Act, 1981.

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