Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Maintain Kudlu Chikkakere lake: NGT
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in a July 1, 2020 order directed the commissioner of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to remove illegal construction in the buffer zone of Kudlu Chikkakere lake, just south of Karnataka’s Bengaluru.
Compensation should be assessed and recovered according to norms in addition to following due procedure, the NGT said. The work would be overseen by a secretary of the Urban Development department.
A June 12 report by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) told the tribunal that the lake was filled with water. There was an increase in water collection in the lake observed during the previous inspection on February 4 as well, the report said.
The municipal corporation authorities stopped entry of sewage into the lake by creating a barrier to sewage channels / storm water drains joining the lake at three points.
Sewage was diverted from the lake to a newly constructed sewage treatment plant (STP) with a 500 kilolitres per day capacity. The STP worked at the time of inspection and the treated sewage was discharged into the lake.
The report recommended that the municipal corporation’s commissioner should take action against illegal constructions in the lake’s buffer zone.
Necessary directions will be issued from the KSPCB office to the municipal corporation to stop the entry of sewage into the lake by providing permanent barriers at all entry points, the report said.
Preventing animal-vehicle collisions
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) submitted a modified action plan July 3 for executing all mitigation measures on different road stretches of tiger corridors in Maharashtra for the protection of the environment and wildlife.
The modified action plan will be valid for three years.
A joint report by the NTCA and the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change prescribed structural and non-structural mitigation measures.
These include regulation of traffic, speed reduction measures, signboards indicating presence of animals, monitoring of vulnerable road sections and verge management. Road verges are strips of grass, plants or trees located between a roadway and a sidewalk.
An application was filed in the NGT in response to a news report published in The Times of India newspaper titled ‘String of new road projects in Maha to cut off tiger corridors’. There was an obstruction of tiger corridors by new road projects by the state and the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, according to the news report.
It was said that there was obstruction of tiger corridors by new road projects by the state and the Ministry of Road Transport (MoRTH).
Felling of trees in Maharashtra’s Vageshwariwadi
The NGT July 2 expressed displeasure over delay in submission of a report on illegal felling of 490 suru trees (Australian pine trees) by the Vengurla Ubhadanda Lineshwar Devasthan (a temple trust) at Mahsulgaon in Maharashtra’s Vageshwariwadi.
The report was to be filed by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Head of Forest Force), Nagpur. The court directed the report to be filed before September 8, failing which the NGT will order for the “personal presence of PCCF (HoFF) by issuing warrants through the police”.
Delhi forest department
The NGT July 2 directed the PCCF, Delhi to submit an action taken report on steps taken for appropriate enhancement of staff strength and infrastructure of the forest department. The report has to be filed before December 15.
The order came after objections raised by applicant Aditya N Prasad against a compliance report earlier filed by the PCCF.
The report had stated that while certain steps had been taken, further steps had been delayed because of the countrywide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
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