Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (October 15, 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: Tuesday 15 October 2019
Photo: Getty Images

Polluting thermal power plants  

Recover environmental compensation from polluting thermal power plants and Northern Coalfields' (NCL) mining projects in Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh and Sonebhadra, in Uttar Pradesh, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on October 11, 2019 directed the pollution control boards (PCB) of both states. 

The polluting units were causing damage to the environment and water bodies, including Rihand reservoir, the tribunal was informed in an application. Surface and underground water was also getting polluted, affecting rivers and streams, the application had stated.

Accordingly, the tribunal in its earlier order, in May 2016, sought a factual and action-taken report from a joint committee comprising of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), and PCBs of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

“As per the environmental compensation guidelines framed by the CPCB the maximum environmental compensation is Rs 30,000 per day of non-compliance,” the committee recommended for Sonebhadra.

“The total amount of 56,08,50,000 may be imposed upon the three thermal power plant and eight Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL) mining project against the non-compliance of the major notification, direction and recommendations issued since 2014,” it added.

Similarly, UP’s PCB calculated the environmental compensation of five thermal plants and five NCL at 23,14,80,000.

The compensation recovered has to be deposited in the proportion of 60:40 with the CPCB and the state PCBs and utilised for restoration of environment and public health, the court ruled.

Discharge of waste

The NGT on October 11 directed the Mathura Vrindavan Development Authority (MVDA) to clean the sewage and domestic waste from Radha Kund and Shyam Kund in Arita village, Mathura district.

Allegation of discharge of waste into the two waterbodies prompted the tribunal to demand a joint inspection and action taken report from the Uttar Pradesh PCB, District Magistrate and Vrindavan Nagar Nigam of Mathura.

The report confirmed that the water in the two waterbodies was unfit for consumption due to waste disposal.

Till the situation improved a sign board should be displayed warning people that the water was unfit for consumption, the tribunal said.

Encroachment on waterbodies

The NGT on October 11 directed the district magistrate of Bareilly to ensure that waterbodies are free of encroachments.

The tribunal was hearing the application filed by residents of Maheshpur, CB Ganj, Bareilly regarding the illegal encroachment and construction of a waterbody.

An affidavit filed by the district magistrate informed the tribunal that the pond in question has since been cleaned and encroachment removed.

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