Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (May 8, 2019)

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 08 May 2019

Restriction on the number of vehicles to continue at Rohtang Pass: NGT

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on May 6, 2019 while reviewing the steps taken for maintaining the ecological balance of Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh said that steps should be taken expeditiously, keeping in view the ensuing tourist season. The tribunal, while upholding the restriction in the number of vehicles, said this was needed as the carrying capacity of the area was limited.

The status report filed by Himachal Pradesh mentioned that in-principle approval has been granted by the Regional Office, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Dehradun, for diversion of the forest land for the project of ropeway. Progress has also been indicated on the subject of setting up and upgradation of a sewage treatment plant (STP) at Manali and eco-friendly market at Marhi.

Waste-to-energy-plant in Manali to become operational in a month: NGT told

The two-member bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice K Ramakrishnan of the NGT on May 6, 2019 directed the Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board (HPSPCB) to submit status report on waste-to-energy (WTE) plants in the state after three months. 

Counsel for the HPSPCB informed the tribunal that the WTE in Manali will become functional by June 30, 2019, and process to set up WTE plants at Kullu and Bhuntar has been initiated for which expeditious steps would be taken.

Ashapura Group of Companies to be prosecuted for pollution

The NGT on May 6, 2019 was informed by the Gujarat State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) that even after reopening, the unit of Ashapura Group of Companies in village Ler, Kutch district, Gujarat, was not environmentally compliant. Ammonia contamination has been observed in the groundwater samples collected from the close vicinity of the unit, and there is no adequate dust control system.

The NGT, while expressing its displeasure with GSPCB, said that even after finding non-compliance, only notice was issued but no prosecution initiated for which there is no justification. It directed the member secretary of GSPCB to remain present in person on the next date of hearing.

Solid waste thrown in open land in Kundli

An application filed by Kissan Udey Samiti against lack of proper sanitation and sewage system in buildings constructed in Sectors 58 to 64 at Kundli, Sonipat district, Haryana, came up for hearing before the NGT on May 6, 2019.

It has been alleged by the applicant that no steps have been taken and the officials of the SPCB are colluding with the polluters. The result is that solid waste is being thrown in the open land causing environmental hazards.

In view of the grievance of the applicant about the continued non-compliance, the tribunal sought a report from the chief secretary of Haryana about the status of compliance of Solid Waste Management Rules and sewage management in the present context within one month.

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