Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (June 8, 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
Last Updated: Monday 08 June 2020

Groundwater extraction without NOC attracts fine

The Lucknow Regional Directorate of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), in its report to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), has recommended that environmental compensation should be imposed on M / s Speciality Industries Polymers & Coating Pvt Ltd, SIDCUL, Sitarganj, Uttarakhand.

The compensation is for non-compliance with respect to industrial pollution and groundwater extraction.

A joint team of officials from the CPCB and the Uttarakhand Environment Protection & Pollution Control Board visited the unit on January 8, 2020, in reference to the NGT order of December 3, 2019.

During inspection, it was found that the unit, that is engaged in engaged in production of polymer emulsion, had yet not obtained a No Objection Certificate (NOC)  from the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) for extraction of groundwater. The unit had applied for it on May 11, 2017.

The CPCB made the following recommendations after the inspection of the unit:

  1. Rs 19,90,000 for non-compliance with regard to industrial pollution during May 18, 2018 to December 4, 2018.
  2. Rs 5,33,760 for extraction of 26,688 cubic metres of ground water without NOC from CGWA. In addition, Rs 20 per cubic metre may be charged from the unit till obtaining NOC from CGWA.
  3. The unit should carry out and submit third party feasibility report of Zero Liquid Discharge installed from organisations / institutes like IIT, NPC, NEERI, NIT and others.

East Kolkata wetlands

Encroachment of the East Kolkata Wetlands and operation of illegal industries, especially plastic units, operating within the area without the necessary statutory clearances, was heard by the bench of Justice Sonam Phintso Wangdi of the NGT.

It was noted that the case was first taken up on May 19, 2016, and since then, various directions had been passed for removal of illegal plastic manufacturing units and action against other bigger units that had been operating illegally.

The NGT directed an updated report to be filed within 30 days from the following respondents:

  • the West Bengal Pollution Control Board,
  • the Directorate of Industries, government of West Bengal,
  • the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and the Deputy Commissioner, South East Division and
  • the Kolkata Police

The case would be listed again before the court on July 14, 2020.

Dumping of waste

There was an all-round failure in implementing the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 with respect to the dumping of garbage and municipal solid waste at Mouza Rajiv Nagar, under Kamarhati municipality and the surrounding areas in Kolkata, the NGT observed on June 4. 

The garbage and municipal solid wastes dumped at the spot had the potential to cause water pollution. They were also being burnt, causing severe air pollution and making it hazardous for the health of the local residents.

The stench and obnoxious odour emitted from the dumping ground located on the northern side of Belghoria Expressway, added to the woes of not only of the people of the surrounding areas but also of the passers-by.

Even after three years, when the case was last heard on November 8, 2017 — the response of the concerned municipalities was found to be far from satisfactory.

Records had revealed a lack of coordination amongst the municipalities, the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority and the Department of Municipal Affairs, West Bengal, the NGT said in its order.

The tribunal directed that all necessary actions for dealing with the issue should be completed in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

The Chief Secretary, West Bengal has been asked to submit a report on the present status in respect of the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 with particular reference to the dumping ground.

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