Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (October 18, 2022)

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 18 October 2022
Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (June 7, 2022)

Illegal constructions 

A high-powered committee should look into illegal construction at Mohal Dhar Tuti Kandi in the Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh, directed the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

The tribunal was responding to a petition October 17, 2022. The committee should be headed by the secretary of urban development, Himachal Pradesh. It must take remedial action in accordance with the law, the NGT stated.

The Himachal Pradesh government introduced the draft development plan defying the NGT’s earlier judgement, the tribunal observed.

Groundwater exploitation

Hotels, marriage halls and party lawns that extract groundwater without permission should deposit an interim compensation, the NGT directed.

The tribunal was responding to an application October 17, 2022. The applicant raised grievances against the unauthorised withdrawal of groundwater by 122 hotels in Ghaziabad.

The tribunal has directed Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam (water authority) to calculate the quantum of the interim compensation. The compensation will be kept in separate accounts maintained by the district magistrates.

It should be utilised within six months, complying with the respective district environment plans for improving water resources.

Installation of digital water metres should be mandated while granting consent to draw water. These metres should be connected to central servers, the tribunal noted.

The establishments mentioned above should furnish an appraisal report concerning the “quantity of groundwater available for extraction.” Their reports should mention the replenishment measures of their choice — such as rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment and use of treated sewage.

The tribunal stated that the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board may duly verify such appraisal reports.

Plastic pollution

The Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee has taken steps to mitigate plastic pollution in high-altitude regions, stated the committee in its report submitted to the NGT.

Many visitors throng to tourist spots like Jai Valley, Padheri Dhar, Chattergala and Khaleni during summer, the committee stated.

This has contributed to the mounting plastic litter. The waste is dumped in the hillslopes or depressions due to the absence of an effective waste management and disposal system.

The report also suggested remedial measures for implementing the Plastic Waste Management Rules during the annual religious yatras (pilgrimages) and melas (fairs).

The report recommended the concerned authorities put mechanisms for the segregation, collection and disposal of plastic waste.

NGT dismisses appeal

The NGT has dismissed an appeal filed by Zon Hotels and observed that the appellant has been “consistently violating the established norms and procedure of law.”

The tribunal was responding to Zon Hotels’ appeal against the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority’s order, slapping a compensation of Rs 2,0419,560. The compensation was levied for the environmental harm caused by the unauthorised construction in Candolim village.

The compensation should be deposited within one month, the NGT ordered. The tribunal noted that the High Court of Bombay had to monitor the demolition of illegal property on various dates regularly.

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