Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (January 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: Wednesday 04 January 2023

Indian railways causing pollution: Report

Loading and unloading of cement, fertiliser and food grains in the premises of Itarsi railway goods shed in the Narmadapuram district, Madhya Pradesh, is causing air pollution, according to a joint committee report submitted before the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

A lot of dust and fugitive emissions were found near the goods shed, noted the report submitted January 3, 2022.

The document was produced in response to an NGT order dated November 21, 2022.

At the time of inspection, approximately 50-60 trucks operated in the premises of the good shed. Currently, there are no mechanisms to manage the dust.

The railways did not develop any infrastructure to control air and water pollution caused by the goods shed. Additionally, there are no amenities like toilets or shelters for labourers.

Loading and unloading contribute to the generation of solid wastes and the facility does not have any arrangement to dispose of them.

The report recommended that the railway management explore the possibility of shifting the good shed to another location with all the arrangements recommended in the Central Pollution Control Board guidelines.

Another recommendation was constructing a sewage treatment plant for wastewater treatment and reuse.

Illegal mining in Himachal Pradesh

The NGT has directed a joint committee to investigate a plea regarding alleged illegal mining near the Kalka-Shimla railway track in Himachal Pradesh.

The tribunal December 2, 2022, was responding to a petition submitted in June, 2022.

The NGT has also directed the concerned authorities to take appropriate remedial action within a month in case of any violation.

“Illegal mining is being carried out for the last four years,” the applicant had alleged. The applicant filed several petitions regarding this before mining authorities, the police department and the state administration.

The concerned authorities did not take any action despite complaining several times, he added.

Industrial pollution in Gurugram

The NGT has directed a joint committee to investigate into a plea submitted by residents of two villages in Gurugram, Haryana, regarding the alleged deterioration of air quality due to industrial operations.

An NGT bench headed by Sudhir Agarwal was responding to a petition from residents of villages Darbaripur and Hasanpur, dated June 6, 2022.

The villagers raised concerns over the industrial pollution at Darbaripur, Hasanpur road and Khekri Daula road. This location houses companies such as Suzuki, Mahindra and Sudhar Metals and Alloy.

These companies “are emitting polluted air affecting health of local residents and they are not complying with environmental norms,” the petitioners alleged.

The court listed the matter for further consideration February 21, 2023.

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