This whole piece of information involves major environment hearings and court orders made in September 2019 till now-
Case on Access to Drinking Water-
A matter concerned with the availability and access of drinking water within Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Punjab, and West Bengal was brought before National Green Tribunal (NGT).
The crux of the complaint was that steps needed to be taken to deal with contamination of groundwater caused by arsenic menace.
On the 11th of September, 2019, the Tribunal stated that where a crore of the country’s population is affected by contamination of water due to arsenic menace, the Central and State governments have the inalienable constitutional duty to supply clean drinking water to the people.
In light of this, the tribunal ordered the State government to come up with immediate and viable options for the supply of drinking water. The tribunal directed the Central government to monitor this.
The tribunal also ordered that the Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, must file compliance report to this effect
Harvest Rain Water in Delhi-
The Independent Monitoring Committee, headed by SP Garg (former Delhi High Court Judge), submitted a report on groundwater recharge, pollution and regulation, to the National Green Tribunal (NGT)
In its report, the Committee indicated that 22 out of 34 units were over-exploited, 3 were safe, 2 were critical, and 7 were semi-critical.
In its recommendations, the Committee stated that there was a need to harvest rainwater and recharge groundwater.
After going through the report, the NGT presided over by three-member bench (consisting of Justices Adarsh Kr Goel, SP Wangdi, and K. Ramakrishnan), directed the committee to continue with its action plans. The tribunal advised the Committee to obtain help from officers who were working rejuvenation of lakes.
The tribunal all stated that pending further reports from the committee, the following directions should be carried out:
- An action plan should be prepared by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to ensure the installation of RWH systems in all new buildings where occupancy certificate is yet to be issued, government buildings, and group-housing societies.
- Existing government buildings and societies that do not have RWH must furnish a declaration of compliance.
- Within a month, technical specification for RWH systems and list of available service providers must be posted on the DJB website and local bodies.
- The compensation specified by the DJB within one month must be paid by specified owners/occupiers of buildings who fail to install RWH and recharge systems by the 31st of December, 2019. The compensations paid must be credited to a separate account.
These directions were issued on the 11th of September, 2019.
On the 13th of January, 2015 the National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued certain directions on control of pollution and rejuvenation of the Yamuna in Delhi. However, those directions were not implemented, and this was brought to the notice of the tribunal.
The tribunal expressed its displeasure on the delay of the implementation of the said directions. And in the words of the tribunal, it asked for “clear time-bound plans” that were flexile and accountable for the implementation of the said directions.
The tribunal also directed that:
- The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) must physically demarcate the entire Yamuna floodplain within 3 months. It must also fence the areas around the Yamuna and convert them into biodiversity parks.
- Cultivation of edible crop and dumping of waste around the area is clearly prohibited. Leftovers from religious rituals must be thrown at designated sites, as stipulated by the DDA, and the governments of Delhi Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
- The DDA must restore flood plains to enable them to perform their ecological functions. Within a month, the DDA must submit an action plan to the Monitoring Committee with timelines.
- The Delhi Pollution Control Committee must submit monthly reports on water quality to the Committee. The Reports must contain data on faecal coliform.
- The DJB must prepare an action plan, with clear timelines, for better capacity utilization of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs)
- Haryana government must upgrade existing STPs, and finish the construction of new STPs by December 31, 2020.
- All Principal Secretaries, Environment and Forest and Urban Developments are to prepare short and long-term plans for the purpose of controlling the flow of sewage from Uttar Pradesh into the Yamuna at Ghaziabad. The plans must specify clear timelines for execution.
- All rescheduled timelines must be compressed so that every action plan would be completed by December 2020.
- The Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh must personally oversee the compliance of this timeline.
These directions were issued on the 11th of September, 2019.
Municipal Solid Waste Rules, 2016-
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that reports on thematic areas like compliance to Solid Waste Rules (including legacy waste), Bio-Medical Waste Rules, Construction and Demolition Waste, Hazardous Waste Rules, E-Waste Rules, etc., were not completed at the State-level. Thus, there was insufficient information from the States and Union Territories.
Consequently, on the 12th day of September, the NGT directed the Chief Secretaries of all Union Territories and State to submit the requisite information to the CPCB, especially the reports dealing with compliance of the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
Green Belt Encroachment by Petrol Pump-
Sometime in 2018, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had received a letter stating that there was illegal encroachment by a petrol pump in a green space near Faridabad.
Based on this letter, in December 2018, the tribunal directed the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad to file a report.
On the 24th of July, 2019, the Municipal Corporation filed a report, stating that it had not issued any NOC or permission for Petrol Pump. The Corporation also stated in its report that the lack of action against the illegal operation of the petrol pump in the green land was not attributable to the Corporation, because the land belonged to the Haryana Urban Development Authority.
After going through the report, the tribunal was of the view that the said report was highly unsatisfactory and cryptic.
Thus, on the 13th of September, 2019, the tribunal ordered the Chief Secretary of Haryana to take appropriate legal action against the petrol pump that had encroached a green space in Badarpur near Faridabad.
The tribunal also directed the Chief Secretary to look into the failure and negligence of the Municipal Commissioner.