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Delhi High Court pulls up DDA, NDMC over unused IFC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Miffed with the wastage of tax payers money, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday rapped the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) for its failure to ensure that the traders from the walled city shift to the integrated freight complex (IFC) in Narela, even after plots have been allotted for the purpose.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that shifting of the markets, including chemical traders, from central and Old Delhi would decongest the area.”Tax payers money is being wasted. Why are you (DDA and North MCD) not doing your job? It is mind-boggling to think that a project with such a huge money value is being permitted to slide, while the Supreme Court, National Green Tribunal and this court are struggling with pollution issues. It is only because the officials are not doing their duty,” it said.The bench expressed concerns on the continuance of the chemical traders here and said that it would have disastrous consequences.During the course of the hearing, the DDA pinned the blame on the NDMC stating that it was the latter’s responsibility to make sure that people are shifted to the land allotted to them.The court also suggested the cancellation of allotment to such persons who are not shifting to commercial complexes, thereby directing the DDA and the civic agency to carry a joint inspection of the walled city to identify the chemical traders who have not shifted to Narela.The court was hearing an NGO’s plea seeking shifting of the wholesale markets from the walled city to the IFC.The bench directed them to file a report and listed the matter for hearing on December 19.

Air clean, NGT lifts ban on construction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday lifted its prohibition on construction activity in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) in light of improved air quality. In an order passed last week, the NGT had put a restriction on all construction activity in Delhi-NCR and transportation of construction material as dust is one of the biggest sources of air pollution in the city.The Tribunal though, directed Delhi and neighbouring states to prepare an action plan within two weeks to control air pollution and prepare for times when the pollution levels rise above very poor levels.A three-member bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar was hearing the plea on air pollution filed by advocate Vardhaman Kaushik.”While preparing the action plan, all the prior judgments, directions, existing action plans must be taken into consideration and the action plan should be directly relatable to the pollution standards and will automatically come into play the moment the prescribed parameter is touched,” the bench said.It added that failure to file the action plan will attract exemplary costs that would be recovered from the senior most concerned officers. “All the state governments, pollution control boards, Central Pollution Control Board and NCT Delhi should have complete preparedness for the coming challenge when the parameter of ambient air quality is severe or hazardous,” the bench added.The Tribunal also clarified that since the Delhi administration had lifted restrictions on entry of diesel-fuelled trucks into Delhi, it will not interfere in it but ordered strict regulations. Further, it said that all other directions in relation to emissions from industries, burning of wastes, burning of crop residue and emissions from vehicles shall however continue to be in force on the basis of precautionary principle.

NGT asks Faridabad builders to fork out bank guarantee, compensation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered 10 builders in Faridabad district, Haryana, to fork out a bank guarantee of Rs 50 lakh each within three days for faulty and unauthorised sewage treatment plants (STPs) failing which their bank accounts would be attached. The Tribunal also prohibited them from withdrawing money from their bank accounts in the meanwhile and directed them to fix the STPs and get them inspected by the Haryana Pollution Control Board.The Tribunal also prohibited the builders from dumping sewage in the open. “Only after taking permission from the NGT would the accounts of the builders be de-freezed,” said NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar who was heading a four-member bench. The bench was hearing a plea by Faridabad resident Varun Sheokand which alleged that waste was being dumped in open.The builders asked to fork out bank guarantee are: Omaxe Heights and Summer Palms in Sector 86, SRS Residency and BPTP Villas in Sector 88, ERA Redwood Residency in Sector 78, SRS Royal Hills Sector 87, Puri VIP Floors in Sector 81, BPTP L Block and BPTP Elite floors in sector 84 and Era Divine Court in sector 76 of Faridabad.Among these builders, ERA Redwood Residency also faces a hefty environment compensation of Rs.55 lakh for failing to obtain the statutory consent to operate the STP. The Tribunal asked them to pay up within a week. Further, Omaxe Heights, SRS and BPTP were asked to fork out environment compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for dysfunctional STPs.The NGT bench was earlier imposing an environment compensation of Rs 50 lakh each. But, the counsel for builders pleaded that they were facing mounting pressure of Non-Performing Assets and thus sought to reduce the compensation and the Tribunal agreed.

States must also implement Odd-Even scheme

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government on Tuesday told the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that neighboring states must also implement the Odd-Even road rationing scheme in order to cut down on pollution levels in Delhi-NCR.The Delhi government’s transport department said this in the second review petition filed by it on Tuesday to represent its case on Odd-Even. The court had turned down the first review application of the government.”The Odd-Even scheme is one of the measures to be taken during ’emergency’ levels of air pollution under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The set guidelines are also applicable to the NCR, where pollution levels are even higher than Delhi,” said a senior Delhi government official.Besides the official said, just beyond the boundary of Delhi extending to NCR towns vehicular traffic causes as much emissions as in the city.”Pollution is not limited to boundaries. On a daily basis a large number of vehicles cross through the capital from Noida and Gurgaon, if the state governments also implement the scheme, it will help cut down on emissions in a major way improving the overall air quality of Delhi-NCR. Most of the pollutants come to the city via UP, Haryana and Punjab, these states must think of ways for reducing pollution levels,” the official said.Besides, the government presented its defence on allowing exemptions on two-wheelers and women drivers in the Green court.”There are over 68 lakh two-wheelers in the city, which if not exempted, around 25 lakh will be on roads every day. In order to accommodate the others, the government will need at least 2,500 buses, which are not present with us right now,” the petition stated.The department also defended its exemption to women drivers citing safety issues, as “women will not feel comfortable in overcrowded public transit.””Women drivers will not feel comfortable commuting in heavily crowded public transport buses. The problem of shortage of public transport will be largely solved within a year,” the plea stated.The department requested the NGT to exempt two-wheelers and women drivers for a year or till 2000 buses are engaged for the third round of ‘odd-even’ scheme.AIR QUALITY IN DELHI-NCRDelhi 308 very poorGhaziabad 467 severeGurugram 355 very poorNoida 410 severeFaridabad 348 very poor

AAP govt seeks modification of NGT order on odd-even

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government filed an application in National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday seeking modifications of its order passed on Saturday that gave a nod for the odd-even car rationing scheme, without giving exemptions to women motorists and two-wheelers. The review application was filed later during the day. NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said Monday that the principal bench will hear the matter on Tuesday. The Delhi government had announced the plan to implement odd-even scheme between November 13 and November 17 to curb the severe levels of pollution. Earlier in the day, Justice Kumar sought to know from the Delhi government counsel if a review application was being filed on the issue of odd-even scheme. When nobody from the Delhi government came forward, Justice Kumar said, “Are you approaching us or was the minister’s statement only for the press.” Soon after NGT’s order on Saturday, the Delhi government said that it was revoking the decision of implementing odd-even car as without exemptions to women and two-wheelers public transport would be insufficient.

Only 50,000 pilgrims allowed at Vaishno Devi a day: NGT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To ensure safety of pilgrims, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ruled on Monday that only 50,000 devotees would be allowed to visit the Vaishno Devi shrine each day in Katra, Jammu. The tribunal also directed authorities to gradually phase out use of horses and ponies from the old path and open the new path to the shrine from November 24, to be used only by pedestrians and battery-operated cars.“The new path, which was constructed at a cost of Rs 40 crore, should be positively opened to public by November 24. No further time will be granted and, in default, appropriate action will be taken against the concerned authorities,” the bench said. Further, the bench also directed that a fine of Rs 2,000 should be imposed for littering in Katra town. The Vaishno Devi shrine is one of the most revered Hindu pilgrimage sites in the country and sees an annual footfall of over a crore. A three-member bench of the NGT, headed by chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, ordered the cap on pilgrims while hearing a plea by animal and environment activist Gauri Maulekhi.

Not more than 50,000 devotees allowed at Vaishno Devi shrine: NGT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal on Monday issued an advisory stating that not more than 50,000 pilgrims per day will be allowed to enter the Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir.More people found proceeding towards the shrine would be stopped either at Ardhkumari or Katra, the Green Court said.The tribunal also stayed the new constructions taking place inside shrine complex.

NGT directs Delhi government and NDMC to ensure parking facilities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi government and the municipal corporations to ensure availability of appropriate parking facilities for cars and discourage road-side parking.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar slammed authorities for not complying with its earlier orders to decongest traffic and asked them to take steps in a holistic manner.Why have you not created appropriate parking place for cars? You people are responsible for creating mess on roads by creating two-three lanes of parking. Why don t you cancel the agreement with contractors who abuse their terms. These parking people become officers and traffic police just watch them, the bench said.The green panel said that if new cars are being allowed to registered then they must be given proper parking spaces.For instance, the multiple parking at Sarojni Nagar remains empty which is undisputed fact and all the vehicles are permitted to be parked on roads where some contractors collect money and add to congestion of traffic.All the Government Authorities, Corporations and NDMC should take immediate and effective steps to rectify these discrepancies and ensure better co-ordination between the Corporations, Government, Police, Departments and contractors who are engaged for parking purposes, the bench added.It also directed the AAP government and the traffic police to challan and seize 10-year-old diesel vehicles and 15-year-old petrol vehicles to curb air pollution in the city.The counsel appearing for NCT Delhi has informed that the site has already been provided for keeping the vehicles which are impounded/seized by the Police being 10 years old vehicles in the case of diesel and 15 years old in the case of petrol.We direct the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to ensure that vehicles which are violating the above directions of the Tribunal should be seized and compliance report be submitted to the Tribunal on the next date of hearing, the bench said.

‘They are great nuisance, create noise,’ NGT raps DTC for poor maintainence of buses

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) flayed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) on Saturday for not maintaining its buses properly and running them without passengers for a major part of the day.”Your buses create so much noise on the road. They are a great nuisance. Most of parts of your buses are either hanging in air or broken. Why don’t you take proper steps for their maintenance. Either your buses run empty or they are over-loaded,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar observed.The tribunal rapped the DTC chairman-cum-managing director for not taking note of an NGT order on maintenance of buses and carrying out a rationalisation study so that the vehicles can be used more effectively.”Have you read our judgement? You have served 33 years in your department and we are shocked you have not got the time to go through our orders. How surprising,” the bench said.The green panel had earlier favoured small-size buses during lean traffic period and said, “You should change your buses when traffic is lean and ply buses which are smaller in size. We are not asking you to stop the bus service rather you should change the size of bus.”The tribunal’s observation came while examining the Delhi government’s decision to roll out odd-even car rationing scheme in the capital from the next week. The government later called off the odd-even scheme, which was to be implemented from Monday.The NGT passed a slew of directions and said that all corporations and authorities of the Delhi government should ensure that was no structural construction activity in the capital till November 14.”Corporations and Delhi Development Authority shall post special forces at land filling sites to ensure that there is no fire at those sites and if any such incident comes to the notice, the official concerned would be personally liable to pay the environmental compensation,” the bench said.​

Odd-even scheme called off for now, says Arvind Kejriwal government

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after the National Green Tribunal gave nod to the odd-even scheme in Delhi, the Arvind Kejriwal government announced that the car-rationing plan has been put on hold for now.Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Saturday made the announcement after the emergency meeting called by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.He said that in view of the two pre-conditions set by the NGT — no exemption for two-wheelers and women drivers — the Delhi government has decided to file a review petition on Monday.Earlier on Saturday, the National Green Tribunal gave it’s order for the car rationing scheme from November 13-November 17 saying no women drivers, government servants and two-wheelers will be exempted. They also said only emergency services and CNG vehicles will be exempted from the odd-even scheme. The green board also said that the odd-even scheme will come into force by default in future if the PM2.5 level crosses 300 and PM10 goes above 500.The NGT also asked Delhi government why the car rationing scheme was not applied before and why the AAP government did not take any steps to reduce pollution before in the national capital.The board said that Delhi government should reconsider the hike of parking charges by four times.“Won’t the hike of parking fees only benefit the parking lots, and would stress people even further, thereby encouraging them to park vehicles on the roads instead, choking them in the process?” NGT asked Arvind Kejriwal’s government.The top green court also asked the Uttar Pradesh governnment for details on the number of challans in Greater Noida and Noida. Meanwhile, the Central Pollution Control Board CPCB) submitted a report to NGT saying the possibility of rain in the next 2-3 days.

Delhi smog: City’s residents frustrated over car rationing

Even as some welcomed the move, many took to Twitter to say the measure was too little and too late.

NGT pulls up states for not curbing pollution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday pulled up the state governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Punjab for failing to give any concrete response on action taken to curb the worsening air quality in the region.”The ambient air quality is so bad that children are not able to breathe properly. Why didn’t you spray water using helicopters, as per our direction? You take instructions and inform us day after tomorrow,” the bench said.The bench raised questions about why did the state governments not take “preventive” and “precautionary” measures even though it had been reported earlier that the situation was likely to be bad after Diwali and was likely to degrade further.The pollution levels in the Capital breached the ‘severe’ category on Tuesday. As per top pollution watchdog Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), when the air quality index spirals past 401-500, it is marked as severe levels of pollution, which can affect people who are healthy and seriously impact those already suffering from respiratory diseases.The NGT was hearing a plea that sought urgent action against the deteriorating air quality in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR).

Air quality is so bad; children can’t breathe: NGT pulls up state governments over smog in NCR

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday directed the state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi-NCR to send in a report on the preventive steps they have taken to curb the worsening air quality in the national capital.An NGT bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, the chairperson of the tribunal, pulled the state governments for their poor preparedness in tackling the situation.”The ambient air quality is so bad that the children are not able to breathe properly. Why did you not spray water using helicopters as per our directions,” Justice Swatanter Kumar asked.Earlier in the day, the pollution level in the national capital remained critical on Tuesday morning. Due to smog-like condition on Tuesday the visibility early in the morning remained low, causing problems in movement of traffic.According to reports, the visibility dropped to 200 metres at 8:30 am.The average air quality index (AQI) also hit 396 (very poor) at 8am, which further peaked by 9.30am to 403 indicating severe pollution level. AQI in East Delhi’s Dilshad Garden was 420, whereas it was 319 in Anand Vihar.The pollution was recorded highest in Punjabi Bagh with AQI 999 and 852 in R.K. Puram. The air quality in Dwarka and NCR also hovered between 400-420.AQI level from 0-50 is considered “good”, 51-100 is “satisfactory” 101-200 is “moderate”, 201-300 is “poor”, 301-400 is “very poor”, and 401 and above is “severe”.In August this year, the NGT had pulled up the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan over continuous stubble burning, one of the main causes of smog during the winter in north India.However, farmers in October said that they would continue to burn stubble, as they find it the most economic way of getting rid of crop residue.According to estimates, over 20 million tonnes of paddy stubble is burnt across these states before sowing of the wheat crops. These fires emit carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide among other gases.

Religious and cultural events are part of Article 21 of Constitution: Petitioners to NGT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cultural, religious rights part of Constitution: Petitioners New Delhi, Oct 31 (PTI) Holding of religious and cultural events like the cultural extravaganza organised last year by spiritual guru Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living cannot be banned or stopped as these form part of the ‘Right To Live With Dignity’ guaranteed by the Constitution, the National Green Tribunal was told Tuesday.The argument that such events were guaranteed under Article 21 of Constitution on protection of life and personal liberty was advanced by some petitioners in support of the AoL event who were impleded by the NGT in the case last year.The petitioners, quoting several articles of the Constitution, contended it was their right to organise and participate in events like Kumbh, Chhath or the ‘World Culture Festival’ of the AOL, subject to reasonable restriction and environmental concerns.”It is most respectfully submitted that power and authority to interpret provisions of the Constitution only rests with Supreme Court or various High Courts. It is submitted that National Green Tribunal Act 2010 does not empower this tribunal with the writ jurisdiction power of the High Courts and thus NGT is not competent to interpret the Constitution read along with any other law in operation,” the plea claimed.The plea moved by Prajanya Chowdhry, Anil Kapoor and Anand Mathur has challenged the NGT’s jurisdiction to decide the issue of damage to the floodplains of Yamuna caused by the holding of three-day cultural festival in March last year.Advocate Anirudh Sharma, who appeared for them, said the Constitution allowed individuals to hold and participate in events like World Culture Festival and any restriction would deny them such rights.The plea was filed through advocates Piyush Singh and Nitesh Ranjan. The matter is listed for hearing on November 2.The AOL had in the last hearing raised doubts over the satellite images used by the experts committee headed by Shashi Shekhar, Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, to estimate the damage.”The committee while submitting its report on July 28 last year has relied on a single Google satellite image of September 15, 2015. There were multiple Google images available between 2000-2015, but the committee has chosen only one image out of all the pictures which was during peak monsoons.”At that point of the year, there were heavy rains at that site and selection of that image to ascertain the damage is questionable,” the AOL counsel had claimed. The three-day World Culture Festival was held in March last year.It had said that the experts committee appointed by the NGT had admitted in the report, dated November 28, 2016, that it did not know the condition of the site before the event.Earlier, the expert committee had told the NGT that a whopping Rs 42.02 crore would be required to restore Yamuna floodplains which was ravaged due to the AoL cultural extravaganza.

Defence Ministry examining report on OROP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Defence Ministry is examining the report of a high-level committee which looked into the grievances of a section of ex-servicemen about the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.Sources in the ministry talked about government’s serious approach in examining the report, on a day a group of ex- servicemen demanded removal of “anomalies” in the OROP scheme implemented by the government.”We are examining the report of retired chief justice of Patna High Court L Narasimha Reddy,” they said.The committee was appointed in December 2015 by then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to look into the anomalies, if any, arising out of the implementation of the OROP scheme.One of the major demands of the veterans was annual revision of pension while the government had agreed to review it after every five years.Earlier in the day, police and civic officials demolished tents and makeshift structures set up by ex-servicemen protesting at the Jantar Mantar for the last two years.Police said the ex-servicemen were removed from the site as the National Green Tribunal had banned protests and dharnas around the historic Jantar Mantar. PTI MPB GVS

Despite barricades on ghats, Yamuna left a polluted mess after Chhath Puja

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the festival season came to an end on Friday with Chhath Puja, DNA visited the Kalindi Kunj Yamuna ghat to see the level of pollution caused by the devotees there. Apart from the usual chemical froth layer on the water of the Yamuna, there is now all kinds of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste lying on the ghats, including garlands, idols and frames of deities, plastic wrappers/bottles (containing oil), idols, diyas and cloth, among other things.The mess remains despite the government barricading the river and ordering basic cleaning post the festival. Instead, the day saw a repeat of the Durga Puja festival when more than a hundred idols of the goddess were immersed in the already burdened river.As per National Green Tribunal (NGT) guidelines, use of only biodegradable material is allowed at the ghats to be immersed in the river.A Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) report last year had revealed a rise in biological oxygen demand (BOD) levels up to 30 mg/l at several ghats, even as dissolved oxygen levels plummeted to zero.The standard BOD level for water bodies is 3mg/l. DO should be 4 mg/l, or higher. Yamuna’s water quality is currently in the ‘E’ category, which makes it fit only for irrigation and industrial usage.

Delhi government to ensure no animal waste, blood seeps into Yamuna: NGT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday asked the Delhi government and the civic bodies to ensure that no animal waste and blood seeps into the river Yamuna due to cattle slaughter.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the AAP government to file a complete status report on the issue before November 30.”You can’t permit animal waste and blood in river Yamuna. You have to regulate it somehow. You can’t leave it like this.File a complete status report,” the bench, also comprising expert member B S Sajwan, said.Advocate Pooja Kalra, appearing for North Delhi Municipal Corporation, told the green panel that slaughterhouses were being closely monitored and the violators challaned and fined.The observations came after a self-styled preacher, Swami Om, appearing on behalf of a religious outfit, sought immediate action in the matter saying the authorities have failed to ensure compliance of the NGT order.The directions came during the hearing of a plea of the religious grouping, Ojasvi party, which has approached the green panel against the pollution caused to the Yamuna river due to slaughter of cattle.Swami Om said the 4-day Chhath Puja has begun today and people will be forced to take a dip in the polluted Yamuna if urgent directions are not given for stopping the inflow of animal blood. The ceremony is observed mainly by the people from Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.The national capital has a sizeable population of people hailing from the two states who observe it here on the banks of the Yamuna or at ponds, lakes and canals, in their neighbourhood.

NGT relaxes 10-year-old diesel vehicles ban in Delhi-NCR

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday gave a breather in its ban imposed on 10-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi -NCR. NGT granted partial relief to commercial vehicles undertaking transport of essential goods on behalf of the government. These vehicles can continue to operate for another three years over the life period of ten years. Earlier, the NGT had banned 10-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi-NCR. It has given a breather of three years to the owner to continue using the vehicle over the life period of ten years. The partial relief does not include private individual users.Earlier in September this year, the NGT had rejected the Centre’s request to modify its earlier order to ban diesel vehicles. The green tribunal said that emissions from diesel vehicles were carcinogenic. One diesel vehicle causes pollution equivalent to 24 petrol vehicles or 40 CNG vehicles. According to media reports, the NGT has also asked neighbouring Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to identify low-pollution zones, where banned vehicles will not be allowed to enter.This should help in ensuring that the pollution curbed from entering Delhi is not pushed into other cities.

New Delhi: NGT questions why highway authority didn’t lift waste in Ghazipur landfill that killed 2 people

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday rapped the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for not lifting the segregated waste lying at the Ghazipur landfill site despite specific direction.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar slammed the NHAI over its slow pace in finalising a tender to draft an agency to carry out the segregation of waste at the landfill site.”You (NHAI) people do not want to do things seriously.You have received tenders. As part of the technical bid, you could have asked the bidders to lift the waste, but you just want to buy time. You could have asked anybody to pick up the waste and pay accordingly, but you don’t want to do it,” the bench observed.The strong comments came in the backdrop of the September 1 incident in which a portion of the 45 metre high garbage dump in east Delhi’s Ghazipur had collapsed due to heavy rains, killing two people and pushing a car and three two- wheelers off the road, into a canal.
ALSO READ Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tears into MCD after Ghazipur landfill collapse claims 2 lives; calls it man-made disasterThe counsel appearing for the NHAI said the department was in the process of receiving tenders and the bids are to be opened on September 21.The green panel directed the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) to submit a report on segregation, compaction and bio-remediation of the municipal solid waste at the site by tomorrow.During the proceedings, EDMC informed the bench that the landfill site at Ghazipur was set up in 1984 to dump municipal solid waste and, at present, 1,300 million metric tonnes of garbage is dumped at this place which has attained a height of 45 metres with steep slope.The corporation claimed that it was making all possible efforts for proper management of waste and maintain hygiene around the site.The matter is fixed for hearing again tomorrow.The tribunal had earlier come down heavily on the AAP government and the EDMC over the Ghazipur landfill collapse in which two persons were killed, saying “nothing can be more humiliating than people being killed under garbage hill.” The green panel had issued notices directing them to show cause why punitive action should not be taken against the Delhi government and criminal proceedings not initiated against the erring EDMC officials over the “unfortunate” incident.

Civic body washes hands off Ghazipur tragedy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ghazipur tragedy, which killed two persons on Friday was a tragedy in the making. Experts say that the site which collapsed on Friday, should have been closed down in 2002. Instead, at least one fourth of the city’s garbage found its way here while no alternative was found. The East Corporation, which is the civic body responsible for maintaining the landfill site, stated that the incident was “unfortunate.” East Corporation Mayor Neema Bhagat, said, “We were making efforts to clean up the landfill site. However, it was our bad luck that a tragedy happened. We were having a meeting about the site when the incident happened.”Asked as to why action on the site had not been taken before, she said, “We have got land from the DDA. But we have to get an NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the NGT (National Green Tribunal) for starting work on it, as it falls under the green belt. We have a meeting scheduled with the Tribunal for the same on September 4.”Bhagat also said that the corporation was talking to the L-G to offer compensation to the victims. Flanked with a drain and a canal on either side, the Ghazipur landfill site carries 13 million of the city’s waste. The waste gave away after heavy rains lashed the city leading to Friday’s tragedy. The height of the landfill site has been a cause for concern for some time now.Despite many court warnings to the corporations and the DDA over the height of the landfill sites the pollution caused by the same no action was taken. After the tragedy a blame game already emerged among the authorities with the East Corporation claiming that the DDA, which was asked to allot land for establishing new landfill sites had failed on their part.However, the AAP government has blamed the corporation for not paying attention to waste management. The DDA, on the other hand, claims that it has done its part and the matter is stuck with the government.Last year, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal had asked DDA to allot land to civic bodies for the purpose. The DDA then claimed that it has provided land to the East Corporation, but the clearance for the same was stuck with the National Green Tribunal (NGT).It’s not just the East Corporation. The South, North and East Corporations have also written to the government asking for land to establish new landfill sites, as the existing ones have been exhausted beyond limit.Established in 1984, the Ghazipur landfill site is the oldest of the four landfills in the city. Despite a waste-to energy plant, a compost plant operating here as well as a tie-up with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to use 75% of its waste to be used in laying roads, the site is heavily overloaded with garbage.On August 18, the NGT had the EDMC and the NHAI to invite tenders for segregation and management of waste at Ghazipur.”The tenders for the same have been floated and the work will start soon. We will ensure nothing untoward happens here again,” said Bhagat.There are four landfill sites in the city under the three corporations —-Ghazipur (East) , Okhla (South), Bahlawa (North) and Narela-Bawana (North). Of the four sites, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) had banned dumping garbage at Ghazipur, Okhla and Bhalswa because of its dumping limit being exhausted.The DPCC had stated dumping waste at these sites was “risking human life”. However, in absence of any new sites, the civic bodies continued dumping waste here.

NGT to hear application regarding Bellandur Lake today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday will hear an application regarding polluted National Green Tribunal (NGT) of Bengaluru. Highly-polluted Bellandur Lake, the largest of the 262 lakes and tanks in Bengaluru, has spilled toxic foam many times in the recent past as well and on several occasions the toxic foam also caught fire. On August 15, the lake spilled toxic foam after heavy overnight rain in the state. The sorry state of the lake forced the NGT to take the matter suo motto in February and it issued notices to all the agencies involved in the upkeep of the heavily polluted lake. On April 19, the NGT directed immediate and complete shutdown of 76 polluting industries around the lake after a mound of garbage was set on fire in February this year leading to massive pollution in the area. The green court expressed displeasure over the steps taken by the different state government agencies for the revival of the Bellandur Lake and asked the Karnataka Government to clean the lake within a month. The NGT also raised questions as to why an action was not taken to block the entry of sewerage water despite repeated reminders from the State Pollution Control Board. It further directed the state government to set up a committee headed by the Urban Development Department (UDD) to monitor the rejuvenation of the Bellandur Lake. On May 18, the NGT directed the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to physically inspect the industries around Bellandur Lake whether they are shut and not just issue closure notices. The residents have started complaining of foul smell and pollution emanating from the lake. “This foam problem has been there for a very long time. Due to heavy rain for past two days, the water level has increased and now the foam has overloaded the whole bridge. Because of this, it is difficult for commuters to drive on the road. The residents are also trying hard to solve this matter,” a local resident Jitesh told ANI. Locals also believe that this toxic foam would cause an epidemic in the area.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cong protests shifting of Goa’s jurisdiction to NGT Del bench

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress today protested the Union environment ministry’s decision to bring Goa under the jurisdiction of the principal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Delhi. The party has written to Union Environment and Forest Minister Harsh Vardhan against the recent notification shifting Goa’s jurisdiction from the Pune bench. “People of Goa are deeply hurt over the decision of the Ministry to bring Goa under the jurisdiction of the Principal bench of NGT,” state unit Congress president Shantaram Naik said in the letter. He said the notification issued on August 10 is “illogical and malicious” considering the distance between the two states as compared to the distance between Goa and Pune. NGT Pune was earlier empowered to entertain the cases filed from Goa. “Considering the international image of Goa, where certain sensitive environmental issues crop every now and then, the Ministry should have considered establishing an independent bench of NGT in Goa. But by shifting its jurisdiction, the Ministry has given a death blow to the state,” he said. Naik said the notification amounts to the “violation of human rights”. “We demand that steps be taken to withdraw the notification immediately,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT asks Uttarakhkand to respond on rehab of villagers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today directed the Uttarakhand government to file an affidavit with regard to the rehabilitation of villagers living inside the eco-sensitive Rajaji National Park in the state. A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim asked the Trivendra Singh Rawat government to explain in detail the status of the people residing inside the park after the lawyer for the petitioner said the state has failed to provide basic necessities to the people. The green panel was hearing a plea filed by Uttarakhand resident Madan Singh Bisht seeking constitution of a monitoring committee to look into the issue of rehabilitation of the revenue village ‘chaks’ (estates) which lie within the boundaries of the Rajaji National Park. Advocate Gaurav Bansal, appearing for Bisht, told the tribunal that Uttarakhand government has failed to provide facilities like electricity, potable water, medical facilities to the children and families living inside the eco-sensitive area. The matter is now fixed for hearing on August 31. The plea had contended that in 1983, MoEF and Uttarakhand government had issued a notification and established the Rajaji national park. However, there was no mention of revenue estates falling within it. The villagers had then raised objections, following which some committees were constituted and after a few meetings resolutions were adopted for taking necessary steps to exclude revenue chaks from the national park area. However till date, the authorities have not taken any decision regarding exclusion of the revenue chaks from the national park, the plea had said. Bisht had claimed that besides non-development of the area which fell within the park, the villages were facing many difficulties as there was always a looming threat of life from wild animals. “The Chief Conservator Forest wrote a letter to Satpal Maharaj, (then) Member of Parliament from the region, about increase in human-wildlife clashes and said rehabilitation was the only option available,” the plea had said. It had sought the exclusion of all revenue village ‘chaks’ from the boundaries of the Rajaji National Park and provision of basic facilities to these estates which are not excluded from boundaries of the National Park.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Lake in Bengaluru spews "toxic froth"

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the city’s Bellandur lake continued to spew ‘toxic froth’ raising concerns among residents in its vicinity, Karnataka Chief Minister today said the problem will be solved in one or two years. Torrential rains that hit the city in the last few days has aggravated the situation with thick froth spilling on to the road nearby causing inconvenience to commuters driving along the stretch. Videos showing cars being engulfed by a large pack of froth, purportedly taken near Bellandur lake, have now gone viral. The residents nearby the lake are the worst hit with froth flying all over the area and strong stench emerging from the polluted water. Residents who complain about coming in contact with toxic froth flying all around, have expressed fear about them developing disease. Speaking to reporters in Delhi about the frothing lakes in Bengaluru, Siddaramaiah said government is taking all necessary actions. When pointed out about it being a long standing issue, he said “it is there…it will be solved in one or two years.” “The statement from Chief Minister has come at a time when the National Green Tribunal (NGT) today reportedly pulling up the state government regarding the pollution of the lake and asked it to submit compliance report on its earlier direction, on August 22. Earlier banning dumping of any kind of waste near the Bellandur lake, NGT in April had directed shutdown of industries near the water body.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ban on tree felling: Punjab to file review petition before NGT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Punjab government today said it has decided in principle to file a review petition before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to vacate the stay imposed on felling of trees for major road projects. The decision has been taken to accelerate the construction of national and state highways, the work for which has come to a standstill due to the NGT ban, said Razia Sultana, PWD Minister, while chairing the quarterly review meeting of her department here today. The minister said the state government has already got the nod from the Ministry of Environment & Forests for executing the construction work on the major road projects in the state. She said that Punjab was forced to stop the work on these projects due to the ban imposed by NGT. During the review of the progress on various religious and other historical monuments, Sultana was apprised by Hussan Lal, Secretary, PWD, that the construction work on these projects has been hampered due to paucity of funds. The minister urged the PWD Secretary to arrange a meeting with Navjot Singh Sidhu, tourism minister, and bring to his notice the status of these flagship tourism projects. She said that these projects are being funded by tourism ministry which will release adequate funds to carry out the construction works. Sultana alleged that the previous SAD-BJP government “wilfully and deceitfully” did not make adequate provisions to fund these projects. The minister was also told that the construction of some of the state highways was also halted in the absence of forest clearance. The minister instructed the Secretary, PWD, to urgently take up the matter with Punjab’s forest minister. A K Singla, Chief Engineer, brought to the notice of PWD Minister that the construction work of various prestigious projects like judicial court complexes, meritorious schools, university and colleges, modern jails and community health Centres (CHCs), are in full swing and will be completed within this year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bellandur Lake spills toxic foam again, residents complain of foul smell, pollution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Bellandur Lake in Bengaluru once again spilled toxic foam, on Thursday, which grew to such an extent that the residents have started complaining of foul smell and pollution. ?This foam problem has been there for a very long time. Due to heavy rain for past two days, the water level has increased and now the foam has overloaded the whole bridge. Because of this, it is difficult for commuters to drive on the road. The residents are also trying hard to solve this matter,? a local resident Jitesh told ANI. The commuters were not able drive due to the intense foam, giving them a tough time. Locals also believe that this toxic foam would cause an epidemic in the area. Highly-polluted Bellandur Lake, the largest of the 262 lakes and tanks in Bengaluru, has spilled toxic foam many times in the recent past and on several occasions the toxic foam also caught fire. On August 15, the lake spilled toxic foam after heavy overnight rain in the state. The sorry state of the lake forced the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to take the matter suo motto. On April 19, the NGT directed immediate and complete shutdown of 76 polluting industries around the lake after a mound of garbage was set on fire in February this year leading to massive pollution in the area. The green court expressed displeasure over the steps taken by the different state government agencies for the revival of the Bellandur lake and asked the Karnataka Government to clean the lake within a month. The NGT also raised questions as to why an action was not taken to block the entry of sewerage water despite repeated reminders from the State Pollution Control Board. It further directed the state government to set up a committee headed by the Urban Development Department (UDD) to monitor the rejuvenation of the Bellandur lake. On May 18, the NGT directed the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to physically inspect the industries around Bellandur lake whether they are shut and not just issue closure notices.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Watch: Bengaluru’s Bellandur lake spills toxic foam yet again

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With rains affecting Bengaluru and parts of the city receiving the highest rainfall in a day in August in several years, Bellandur lake continued to spill thick toxic foam. ‘Toxic foam’ allegedly due to discharge of sewage water engulfed large partof the Bellandur Lake.Highly polluted Bellandur Lake, the largest of the 262 lakes and tanks in Bengaluru, has spilled toxic foam many times in the recent past and on several occasions the toxic foam also caught fire.The sorry state of the lake forced the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to take the matter suo motto.On April 19, the NGT directed immediate and complete shutdown of 76 polluting industries around the lake after a mound of garbage was set on fire in February this year leading to massive pollution in the area.Rains from Monday night to Tuesday morning flooded major roads and drainage water entered houses in low-lying areas.The city was battered by 12.8 cm rain in five hours from Monday night to Tuesday morning, which is stated to be the highest rainfall in a day in August since 1890.The worst hit was south and eastern parts of Bengaluru– Koramangala, HSR Layout, Ejipura, Jayanagar, JP Nagar, BTM Layout, Bannerghatta Road and pockets of Indiranagar, where pre-dawn rain and winds snapped power lines, uprooting trees and flooding streets, submerging vehicles.(With agency inputs)

Meet held for chalking out plan to check plastic use

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government on Monday reviewed the measured being adopted for preventing the use of non-compostable, plastic of less than 50 micron thickness. The Environment Minister Imran Hussain wanted to know a comprehensive action plan for ensuring that use of non-biodegradable plastic is kept in check.Minister Husain had expressed the concern over inaction on the part of the concerned agencies which has resulted in widespread use of non-compostable plastic especially of thickness less than 50 microns which is otherwise of no recyclable value.During the meeting, the officers informed the Minister that concerted and coordinated measures are needed to be taken on regular basis by the various agencies charged with this responsibility. The National Green Tribunal has also recently banned the use of light weight plastic bags in Delhi and has sought action plan from all the concerned agencies for strict enforcement. The NGT has ordered recovery of Rs 5,000 per default as environment compensation.

PETA wants NGT to amend manja ban oder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Brooding over the fact that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had not specified the kind of manja that it imposed ban upon, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India on Thursday has appealed to the Supreme Court seeking an amendment of the order and that the glass-coated cotton sharp-string be banned too.According to the animal welfare organisation, their idea is to bring in more clarity in the July 11 NGT-order in which the tribunal had imposed a nationwide ban on the use of synthetic and nylon manja.While several animal rights activists welcomed the ban order, many expressed concerns over the fact that there was a lack of clarity on the glass-coasted manja.”The glass-coated manja has caused injuries and deaths of humans and birds. Therefore, it must be banned for public safety and wildlife protection,” said PETA Lead-Public Policy Nikunj Sharma, adding that the prohibition on the use of synthetic and nylon manja is a life-saving step but human and animal casualties will continue to occur until all dangerous manja are banned.It was in 2014, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued an advisory to all states and union territories asking them to address threat from manja, and in 2013, the Animal Welfare Board of India wrote to all states and union territories urging them to ban it.PETA’s complaints1. Lack in clarity over the kind of manja to be banned2. The glass-coated manja has also caused injuries and deaths of humans and birds. Therefore, it should also be banned

NGT bans use of plastic bags of less than 50 microns in Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today imposed an interim ban on sale and use of non-biodegradable plastic bags which are less than 50 microns and violators would have to pay a hefty fine of Rs 5,000. Slamming the AAP government for its lackadaisical approach in implementing its own 2012 ban, the green panel directed Delhi Pollution Control Committee and other authorities to seize the entire stock of such plastic within one week from today. The NGT clarified that this is an interim direction which may be changed after hearing all the parties concerned. “We must express dissatisfaction over the way the Delhi government has implemented the direction of the tribunal in preventing and controlling pollution resulting from the indiscriminate use of plastic waste more particularly the carry bags of thickness 50 microns which are used in the market…. “There shall be complete prohibition on use of non- compostable plastic bags which are less than 50 microns in entire Delhi for any purpose whatsoever. The city government and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee shall ensure that sale, use and storage of such plastic in not allowed at shops or otherwise,” a bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, said. The tribunal noted that plastic degrades environment and causes serious damage to the health of human beings and animals. The sewer lines get choked due to indiscriminate dumping of plastic which also blocks free flow of water resulting in flooding of streets in the rainy season, the tribunal said. “Even the animals are subjected to the diseases and even death as a result of plastic getting mixed with wet waste which they eat. Public authorities have failed to take appropriate steps in this regard and fulfil their statutory obligations,” the bench, also comprising Justice R S Rathore and expert member B S Sajwan, said. The tribunal also directed the city government and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to file an affidavit by a senior most officer and inform it how directions with regard to waste management in the city were being implemented particularly with respect to plastics. Dunu Roy, an environment activist associated with Delhi- based Hazards Centre, said that there was nothing new in the order and the plastic manufactures will have no problem with the prohibition as ultimately the consumer will suffer by shelling money for bags. “There is nothing new in the NGT order. The tribunal’s direction is only progression of an old issue as the authorities have failed to ensure prohibition. Banning plastic of less than 50 microns would serve no problem. Plastic of all kinds should be banned. “The NGT is only looking at the consumption level and the aim should be to stop at the production level. The manufactures will produce thicker material and ultimately the consumer will have to shell out the cost. Cotton bags should be promoted by the authorities. Unfortunately, the alternatives are not being looked at,” Roy told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

6-yr-old complain about flies, NGT issues notice to UP govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking cognisance of a complaint by a six-year-old boy about swarms of flies from a poultry farm troubling him and his friends at school in Shamli district, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government. A bench of Justice Swatantre Kumar yesterday asked all the respondents, including the chief secretary, the state pollution control board and the poultry farm’s owner, in the case to file a reply by August 31. The boy, Arjun Malick, petitioned the tribunal that within 500 metres of the farm there is a government and private school. “There is foul smell around us and it is making it difficult for us to study,” the boy said in his application. Malik’s counsel Gaurav Bansal said the NGT has asked respondents, including the chief secretary, state pollution control board, animal husbandry department, Shamli district magistrate and the poultry farm, to file a reply by August 31. “The pollution control board has issued a notice to the poultry farm after it was found that it did not have adequate infrastructure dispose of waster and garbage,” Bansal said. Local residents had lodged a complaint with the district administration but no action was taken, the lawyer claimed, adding “school authorities also did not take any steps to deal with situation”. “The lack of waste and garbage disposal posed health hazards,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT directs BJP MLA to file fresh plea against hookah bars

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed a Delhi BJP MLA to file afresh his plea alleging that hookah bars were “ruining” youth by turning them into “drug addicts”. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the counsel appearing for Manjinder Singh Sirsa to file a proper application with complete facts. Sirsa, who is a BJP MLA from Rajouri Garden, has sought immediate action against hookah bars in the national capital. “The counsel appearing for the applicant wishes to withdraw this application with liberty to file proper application after giving complete facts and analysis report, if any, and by bringing the application within the scope and ambit of under Section 14 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010,” the bench said in its order recently. In a statement, Sirsa said he had written to the NGT chairperson, alleging that hookah bars were “ruining” the youth of Delhi by turning them into “drug addicts”. “Despite launch of a campaign in the country to contain use of tobacco and ban hookah bars, most hookah bars in Delhi are running on restaurant licenses illegally and selling products that are harmful for the youth,” he stated. Attacking the Delhi government, Sirsa had said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed to be against drugs, but the ground reality was different.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT asks oil companies about 10-year-old diesel trucks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed three public sector oil companies to submit complete information regarding 10-year-old diesel trucks they use to transport fuel and asked them to produce scrapping certificate to prove that they have dismantled their old vehicles.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also directed the senior-most officers from each company to be present before it on August 8.”The counsel appearing for the petroleum companies, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum, shall ensure that senior-most officers from each company to be present before the next date of hearing.”They will provide complete detail with regard to vehicles, scrapping certificate should be placed before the tribunal. This would apply not only to the company, but to the contractors working with these companies,” the bench said.The green panel also directed the counsel appearing for the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to take instructions as to when CNG would be made available in cities near the national capital.The direction came during the hearing a batch of petitions filed by various contractors seeking registration of new BS-IV compliant diesel vehicles purchased for transport of petrol from company depots to identified petrol pumps in the National Capital Region.The contractors had moved NGT after it had last year passed an order banning the registration of new diesel vehicles as well as their re-registration after 10 years.

Delhi panel contradicts NGT, says AoL event wasn’t held on Yamuna wetlands

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There was no evidence of compaction of soil neither were any wetlands seen prior to and after the Art of Living Foundation’s event in March 2016 on the Yamuna floodplains, a Delhi Development Authority (DDA)-led three-member panel submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday. Last week, the NGT’s principal bench had directed the DDA to form a three-member committee and submit an action plan to restore the Yamuna floodplains. The Tribunal had also said that the action plan should refer to the recommendations of an expert committee it had appointed to assess the damage at the Yamuna floodplains.The three-member panel’s observations though, were directly in contradiction to the observations of the expert committee. “The land where the function of AoL was held is fully covered with grass along with some saplings and seedlings of various tree species here and there. This kind of grass and natural regeneration of seedlings is not possible on compacted soil. No significant size of wetland or water body was noticed by the committee in the area used by AoL,” the panel report said. It added that from Google Earth images, it was evident that no wetland or water body was seen prior to the event.The report of the three-member panel was prepared by Principal Commissioner, Horticulture, DDA, Chief Engineer, Irrigation Department, Delhi government, and Chief Engineer, Yamuna Irrigation Department, Uttar Pradesh.The NGT-appointed expert committee, though, had said in its report that wetlands were filled up during preparations for the event. “About 75 hectares were impacted due to levelling and consolidation and compacting…wetlands have to be de-silted and the compacted area has to be de-compacted,” the expert committee had said in April. They had said that Rs 42 crore was required for physical and biological rehabilitation of the floodplains.

Maintain greenery along roads in Ghaziabad: Green Tribunal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC) to expedite the work of maintaining roads and pavements with sufficient green cover. A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim passed the order after noting the submission of the municipal commissioner who said a sum of Rs 2.77 crore has been sanctioned and allocated to complete the work on three roads in Sector 3 of Vasundhara area. “The commissioner of municipal corporation seeks six months time to complete the work and report which we find is not reasonable. However, we direct him to expedite the work and complete it as early as possible. Since the issue raised in this execution application regarding non-compliance have been answered, we permit the applicant to submit what further actions is necessary in this regard,” the bench said. During the proceedings, the counsel appearing for Uttar Pradesh Avas Vikas Parishad told the bench that since the municipal corporation has found its own resource for carrying out work in terms of directions of this tribunal, it may not be proceeded against. The matter is fixed for hearing on August 3. The tribunal had earlier slammed the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation for not maintaining roads and pavements with sufficient green cover in Ghaziabad and summoned its municipal commissioner there for explaining the delay in the implementation of the directive. It had also taken exception to the affidavit filed by the GMC stating that the green panel’s direction of May 16, 2016 order had been complied with. The tribunal had earlier imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on three officials of the Ghaziabad for non-compliance of its order on maintenance of roads and pavements with green cover in one of the sectors. It had said that municipal commissioner, chief engineer and the executive engineer were responsible for the lapses in Sector 3 of Vasundhara and directed that the fine be recovered from them. The tribunal’s order came on a plea filed by Ghaziabad- resident Nayan Agrawal seeking execution of the NGT’s direction to repair and carry out maintenance of the roads and pavements with sufficient green cover in Sector 3 in Vasundhra area of the district.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT allows redevelopment work around Qutab Golf Course

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The stalled work to redevelop Qutab Golf Course in a posh South Delhi loacality is all set to begin, with the National Green Tribunal lifting the stay order on the construction activity. The green panel, which gave its go ahead to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to carry out the construction, however, put a condition that the work around the lakes in area would remain stalled. “DDA may carry out other activities excluding the activity in relation to the lake,” the bench said. A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim granted the relief to the DDA after senior advocate Rajiv Bansal and advocate Kush Sharma sought urgent directions to carry out other development activities around the lake. They told the green panel that if the order was not vacated, it would cause a great loss to the public exchequer. The matter was fixed for further hearing on August 8. On July 12, the bench had restrained the DDA from carrying out any activity after it had failed to respond to an NGO’s plea alleging that concretisation of the lakes would adversely affect recharge of ground water in the Qutab Golf Course at the Lado Sarai area. In its plea, the DDA had contended that the five lakes, as alleged by the NGO, were already in existence since the inception of the golf course in 2000. “Hence, the allegation that DDA is constructing new artificial lakes is outrageously false and the same is a figment of the petitioner’s imagination having publicity- centric mind and have been made with a sole motive of just to gain publicity by interfering in the smooth operation of DDA’s plan for renovation of the Qutub Golf Course. “The renovation has been framed with a view to stop the wastage of water during watering on turf, for getting rid of contaminated grass and weeds, for planting variety of hybrid grass and to further ensure that sufficient green area is maintained within the Golf Course premises,” the plea had said. The DDA had contended that it tried to file its reply in the case which had annexures including certain maps of the site in question but had failed to do so due to non-conversion of maps in PDF format. “Due to the new NGT guidelines for e-filing of documents, DDA tried to contact various photostat vendors to convert the maps to PDF format as required by the registry but due to non-availability of the technology in the nearby area, the maps could not be converted to PDF format and the reply could not be filed on time,” it had said. The stay order of the green panel had come during the hearing of the plea by NGO CHETNA seeking a stay on such construction activity and asking the DDA to place on record the source of water that is intended to be used for the lakes. The NGO had claimed that due to insufficient rainfall in Delhi, the artificial water bodies proposed to be constructed, cannot possibly be filled up on a sustainable basis by rainwater.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Give us total no of taxis in Kullu-Manali: NGT to HP govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today directed the Himachal Pradesh government to file an affidavit and apprise it about the total number of members registered with the taxi association in Kullu and Manali. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the state government to file a detailed reply after proper verification within three days. The direction came on a plea filed by a taxi association against the June 19 order of the NGT which had put a cap on the number of permits to these vehicles. While the taxi association claimed that there were 2,100 taxis, the Himachal government said that there were 2,517 taxis registered. The green panel also sought status report on the ropeway project on the Manali-Rohtang road and directed senior most official of the state government to be present before it on July 26. It also directed ‘sarpanch’ of the Palchan panchayat, which had opposed the 9 km long Palchan-Rohtang ropeway, to appear before it on the next hearing. On June 19, the tribunal had allowed 100 more tourist vehicles to pass through the eco-sensitive Rohtang pass area. The panel, which had earlier permitted 800 petrol and 400 diesel vehicles to go beyond Manali on Rohtang Pass road, had allowed more vehicles to the picturesque location to ensure that more tourists are accommodated. “75 per cent of such applications would be granted permit under outside tourist category i.e. the tourist driving their own vehicles from outside Himachal Pradesh. The remaining 25 per cent would be the tourist from other districts of State of Himachal Pradesh… “The other cars will be issued permits for strictly complying with the directions contained in the permit. No taxi or vehicle should re-ply or take a return trip without crossing the borders and not more than twice a week,” the circuit bench had said. On the issue of issuing permits, the bench had held that online registration for permits to Rohtang should be opened at 10 am every morning and then again at 4 pm on the same day instead of 12 noon as done earlier. The tribunal had earlier asked the state government to submit a comprehensive report on various aspects including the ropeway, operationalisation of CNG and electric buses, status with regard to afforestation and establishment of eco-friendly market at Marhi.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Delhi ridge: NGT castigates AAP govt, slaps Rs 2L fine

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today rapped the Delhi government over “inordinate delay” in demarcation of forest land in the southern ridge area and slapped a fine of Rs two lakh on it. A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim said the city government was frustrating the orders of the green panel on one pretext or the other and showing “disdainful conduct” in the matter. “The proceedings in these cases reflect the manner in which administration of NCT of Delhi is being governed. “Orders passed by us on previous dates speak out aloud of the modus operandi of all concerned to frustrate the directions of this tribunal… It is regrettable to note that except for taking prevaricate stands on each occasion on the different dates the respondents are displaying clear disdainful conduct in frustrating the order of this tribunal,” it said. In the circumstances, the bench said, it was compelled to impose a cost of Rs two lakh in the first instance. It directed that the positive action plan be submitted by July 26 failing which the NGT will be compelled to pass order with the direction that on each day of non-compliance further cost of Rs one lakh will be saddled on the NCT of Delhi. The tribunal directed the Delhi government to deposit the amount with the Legal Aid Committee of the NGT Bar Association and said it would be utilised only for restoration of the environment. The order came after the counsel for the AAP government told the bench that that although bids for demarcation were opened, the finance department has disapproved the bid on the ground that the amount is high and the officials plan to take a fresh decision. The NGT had earlier directed the Delhi government to adhere to the time schedule and expeditiously carry out demarcation of the area falling within their limits. The tribunal was hearing a bunch of pleas field by South Delhi resident Sonya Ghosh and others against encroachments on forest land in the southern ridge area and seeking their removal.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT directs MoEF to consider mining plans of UP, Haryana

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to “expeditiously” consider the mining plans submitted by Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said that extraction of minerals like sand and gravel should be strictly carried out as per MoEF guidelines. “Both the state governments have submitted their mining plans…. We direct Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to consider the approval of the plans while informing the officers from the Ministry of Mines. This must be done very expeditiously as this matter is very urgent in nature,” the bench said. During the hearing, the MoEF told the green panel that they have filed an additional affidavit suggesting that UP government should be permitted to carry on the mining activity along with Haryana, subject to the guidelines. The matter is listed for hearing on August 17. The directions came during hearing of a plea by environment activists Gurpreet Singh Bagga and others who had moved NGT against alleged rampant illegal mining of minor minerals in Saharanpur and the riverbed of Yamuna. According to the applicants, “a handful of mining lease holders were treating the entire district as mining area irrespective of what is mentioned in their mining permit and the environmental clearance”. The NGT had earlier cracked the whip on illegal sand mining and extraction of minor minerals in Saharanpur district of UP while slapping a fine of Rs 50 crore on five lease holders for carrying out excessive unauthorised mining resulting in damage and degradation of environment. The green panel had also prohibited stone crushers and mining of minor minerals like bajri (gravel) and boulders in Yamunanagar and Saharanpur districts and other villages situated on the floodplains of Yamuna.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT orders drain inspection, appoints local commissioners

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today appointed four local commissioners to inspect drains, falling under different civic bodies, which join river Yamuna and apprise it whether they were unclogged as claimed by the authorities. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar appointed advocates Meera Gopal, Sharad Sharma, Arjun Nanda and Vinayak Gupta as local commissioners and directed them to inspect the drains at Gulabi Bagh, Chirag Delhi, Kalyanpuri and trunk drain no 1 at Seelampur today itself. A trunk drain is a large-capacity drainage or stormwater channel which clears local street drainage systems. “They shall also visit trunk drain no 1 and report to the tribunal as to whether these drains are clean from any silt, municipal solid waste and other wastes or non-acceptable substances in the drains. “They shall also observe and state as to whether these drains are carrying sewage and as a result thereof there is odour in the environment,” the bench said. During the hearing, the counsel appearing for North Delhi Municipal Corporation told the bench that it has 195 drains which are more than 4 feet. While the South Delhi Municipal Corporation has 18,459 drains in total, 221 drains fall under the jurisdiction of the East Delhi Municipal Corporations, the NGT was told. The tribunal had earlier taken note of a drain clogged with garbage and municipal solid waste near a residential colony in North East Delhi and sought a reply from the Delhi government on the issue. It had asked the authorities to show cause as to why appropriate action should not be taken against them for violating the orders of the NGT. The order had come after the NGT took suo motu cognisance of a media report and picture showing a drain clogged with municipal solid waste near a residential area in Seelampur here. The green panel had said that all authorities are under “statutory” obligation to ensure that waste is “collected, transported and disposed” of in accordance with Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 so that it does not cause public health hazards.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT raps Delhi govt over illegal industries in Northwest Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has rapped the Delhi government and the civic bodies for not giving details of the illegal industries sealed by them in Northwest Delhi. A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim took exception to the SDM of the area concerned not filing action taken report despite its specific direction. The green panel ordered the officials to file an affidavit and apprise it about the industries which have been shut down for running without requisite permissions and causing air pollution. “Despite our order, directing SDM to file action taken report is absent and no acceptable submission is made on behalf of respondents. Hence, we direct the SDM concerned to file affidavit and explain the lapses,” the bench said, listing the matter for next hearing on August 9. Earlier, the NGT had directed Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and North Delhi Municipal Corporation to jointly inspect the area and submit a detailed report. It had also directed DPCC to also state whether they had given consent to operate to any of these units and, if not, then what action they have taken for all these years. The order came on the plea of city resident Krishan Kumar seeking closure of illegal industries in Prahladpur Bangar area of Rohini in West Delhi on the ground that these were causing air pollution. The plea claimed that numerous industrial units were operating in residential areas without consent from DPCC and the authorities have turned “blind eye” towards them.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT dismisses plea against temple construction in Noida

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has junked a plea against construction of a temple in Noida allegedly being built on a green area, saying it lacked merit. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar dismissed the plea and said the petitioners have failed to substantiate the allegations with requisite evidence. It also said the question raised by the applicants was more of violation of “Town Planning Act” and does not pose a substantial question of environment warranting its interference. The NGT noted the submission of the horticulture department that when it received information about the temple construction in 2016, one of its officers went to the spot and stopped the unauthorised work immediately. “The inevitable conclusion is that the applicant has approached the tribunal without disclosing the true and essential facts as to when the cause of action first arose, the persons who are involved in raising the alleged unauthorised construction and the authority concerned who has to take care of the construction carried out which relates to public road/park/passage,” the bench said. The tribunal’s verdict came on a plea filed by Noida residents –Rakesh Kumar, Manish Rastogi and Sanjiv Mittal seeking stay on unauthorised construction of a temple in block G of Sector-44 of Noida saying it would deprive the residents from using the park on which it was being built. The plea said that unauthorised construction of the temple would invite “trespassers” including street vendors who would sell “flowers and prashad” and cause noise pollution in the area by using loudspeakers. “This would create a serious threat to the private life and property of the residents of the sector. People from the neighbouring villages, blocks, societies and sectors will also come inside the sector to visit the temple which would hamper peace and tranquility of the residents.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rs 50,000 fine for dumping along Ganga stretch

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday banned dumping of any kind of waste within 500 metres of the Ganga river between Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, adding that violators would be fined Rs 50,000.The environment watchdog also declared 100 metres from the edge of River Ganga as ‘No-Development Zone’ along the same stretch. The moves come a week after the Supreme Court stayed the Uttarakhand High Court’s order declaring the Ganga and Yamuna rivers as juristic persons and a living entity.Uttar Pradesh should be “duty-bound” to shift tanneries within six weeks, it added. Tanneries that overshoot their permitted capacity will be fined as per their size, the Tribunal said, setting an upper limit of Rs 50,000 for small units and Rs 1 lakh for large ones.

India court bans waste dumping in Ganges

Millions of Hindus worship the river, but it has become heavily polluted in recent years.

NGT imposes complete ban on nylon and synthetic manja

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today imposed a complete ban on ‘manja’, the string used to fly kites, made of nylon or any synthetic material which is non-biodegradable, saying it posed a threat to the lives of birds, animals and humans. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed all state governments to prohibit the “manufacture, sale, storage, purchase and use” of synthetic manja or nylon threads and all other synthetic threads used for flying kites. The green panel clarified that the ban order would apply on nylon, Chinese and cotton manja coated with glass. “There shall be a total ban on the manja or thread for kite flying which is made of nylon or any other synthetic material and or is coated with synthetic substance and is non-biodegradable… “All chief secretaries of states and Union Territories are directed to enforce prohibition on manufacture and use of synthetic manja/nylon thread for flying kites throughout the country,” the bench said. The judgement came on the plea filed by animal rights body People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Khalid Ashraf and others which had contended that ‘manja’ posed a grave threat to humans and animals as every year a number of deaths are caused by it. “Due to ‘manja’ being coated with glass, metals and other sharp material, these strings act as good conductors of electricity, increasing the probability of detached manja strings stuck in power lines, electrocuting kite flyers and passers-by coming into contact with these strings,” the petition had said. PETA had averred that minor children were engaged by the cottage industry for the manufacture of ‘manja’ which caused respiratory problems as they inhaled harmful substances which were extremely detrimental to their health.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT orders status quo on Basai wetland in Gurugram

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today stayed the work on a waste treatment plant, being built in the catchment area of Basai wetland in Gurugram, after noting its adverse impact on the water body. A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim passed the order after the counsel for Haryana government undertook before the tribunal that it would maintain “status quo” on the construction site till July 27, the next date of hearing. During the hearing, the tribunal was informed that the boundary wall of the plant, being developed by IL and FS Environmental Infrastructure and Services Ltd, was adjacent to the rich biodiversity of bird species. The Haryana government, however, said that the area was a not a notified wetland. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by NGO Delhi Bird Foundation seeking a stay on the project contending that the Basai wetland, though not declared as a wetland under the Wetland (Conservation & Management) Rules, 2010, was a valuable water body. “The construction and debris plant which is under process of establishment shall have an adverse impact upon the water body due to various activities connected with the plant,” the plea had said. The plant, according to the Gurugram municipal corporation, will be spread over 3.5 acres of land and process 500 tonnes of waste a day. The NGT had earlier issued notices to the the environment ministry, the Haryana government, the Gurugram municipal corporation and the IL and FS Environmental Infrastructure and Services Ltd after the NGO alleged that the Basai wetland was in a critical condition due to the project.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Prove that it’s not possible to dump human waste from midair: NGT to DGCA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today directed the aviation regulator DGCA to substantiate its claim that it is impossible to dump human waste from aircraft tanks mid-air.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to file an affidavit in this regard before August two, the next date of hearing.”DGCA and CPCB, after consultation with experts, would file an affidavit and state whether under any circumstances, intentionally or unintentionally, it is possible for an aircraft to release any waste during flights,” the bench said.The direction came after the counsel, appearing for DGCA, told the tribunal that the regulator has gone through the report of a three-member committee and concluded that it is impossible to empty the waste tanks of the aircraft mid-air.He told the bench that there was a manual system by which the human waste tank is emptied after the flight lands and by no means the cabin crew can operate the tank during the flight.”We cannot risk the lives of numerous passengers by opening the tanks mid-air. The cabin crew does not have access to the human waste tank as it is operated manually. This is the reason we have yet not passed any direction to the airlines. We would become a laughing stock by asking them something which is not possible,” the counsel said.During the proceedings, Lt Gen (Retd) Satwant Singh Dahiya, who has filed plea seeking action against the airlines for dumping human excreta, said the DGCA was deliberately trying to delay the implementation of the NGT order by referring to instances in foreign countries.He alleged that CPCB scientist R M Bhardwaj, who inspected his house and took samples of excreta, had clearly mentioned this in his initial report that human waste was splashed on his terrace but later changed his report “under pressure.”The tribunal had taken strong exception to the non- issuance of a circular by the DGCA to the airlines and the ground handling services to stop release of waste from aircraft tanks while landing or anywhere near the IGI Airport terminals here.The NGT had asked the aviation watchdog to issue a circular making it clear that aircraft would be subjected to surprise inspection to check whether these tanks are empty or not.It had last year held that if “any aircraft, airlines and the handling services of registered aircraft” were found to be dumping human waste in air or toilet tanks were found to have been emptied before landing, they shall be subjected to environmental compensation of Rs 50,000 per case of default.The NGT had also asked the DGCA to carry out surprise inspection of aircraft landing at the airport to check that their toilet tanks are not empty while landing and prevent waste from being splashed over residential areas and any other place before landing

NGT asks Himachal govt to ensure ban on illegal mining

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Himachal Pradesh government to ensure there is no illegal mining in the state “under any circumstances”. Responding to a plea alleging unauthorised excavation on government land in Kangra, a circuit bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the state government to submit a restoration plan for damage caused to the area where illegal sand mining has been carried out in the past. “We make it clear that no illegal mining should be carried on in that area under any circumstances,” the bench, also comprising Justice Dalip Singh, said. The green panel also issued notices to four persons who were allegedly carrying out mining in Kangra district. “The department will serve all notices upon these parties to be personally present before the tribunal and to show cause why they should not be called upon to pay environmental compensation as they have been found to be carrying on illegal mining activity,” the bench, also comprising Justice Dalip Singh, said. If the instances of illegal mining pointed out by the applicant were found to be true, the officer incharge of that area would be personally responsible, it warned. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by a Baljeet Singh seeking prohibition on illegal mining going on in villages Mather, Bharmot, Ghaugghar and Pharesh in Kangra district. The plea had alleged that state authorities had turned a blind eye to mining activity as it was being done on the land belonging to the government.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Expert panel extends clearance for Tehri project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Environment Ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) on river valley and hydroelectric projects has recommended a three-year extension to the validity of the environmental clearance (EC) for the Vishnugad-Pipalkoti hydel project in Chamoli district. The EAC’s recommendation, though, comes even as the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT’s) principal bench imposed a Rs 50-lakh environmental compensation in April on the project proponent Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC) for illegal muck-dumping in the Alaknanda river.The Vishnugad-Pipalkoti hydel project is a 4x111MW capacity project on the Alaknanda river, near Helong village. According to THDC, Rs 1,187.54 crore has been spent on the project till now. THDC has filed a plea before the NGT to modify its order, and the next hearing is on July 3.In its detailed judgement, the NGT had noted that disposal of muck not only polluted the river and harmed aquatic health, but also violated the EC granted to the project. The EC had stated that muck should be disposed of above the high-flood level.The minutes of the EAC meeting, though, did not make any mention of the NGT judgment and the environmental compensation it imposed. The minutes were reviewed by DNA.THDC also submitted a letter to EAC for the appraisal meeting and said that the muck generated from the construction of the project is being dumped at designated muck disposal sites along with detailed muck disposal plan. It added that presently it had deployed 20 dumpers for disposal of muck that were installed with GPS. Curiously, THDC did not make any mention of the NGT’s fine in its letter and as per the minutes, seem to have concealed the fact that it in their judgement, NGT had directed them to fit the dumpers with GPS.The Matu Jan Sangathan, a non-profit organization, that was the petitioner in the NGT case had written a letter to the EAC, detailing the need for a relook at the project in light of the NGT judgement and also due to what it claimed to be serious ecological damages to neighbouring villages due to dam structures.

NGT relaxes restriction on tourist vehicles to Rohtang Pass

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In some good news for those planning to visit the Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh to beat the summer heat, the National Green Tribunal has allowed 100 more tourist vehicles to pass through the eco-sensitive area. The panel, which had earlier permitted 800 petrol and 400 diesel vehicles to go beyond Manali on Rohtang Pass road, has allowed more vehicles to the picturesque location to ensure that more tourists are accommodated. “We hereby permit 100 more cars out of which 60 per cent would be petrol cars and 40 per cent diesel cars. The applicants under this category will be only the tourists driving their own vehicles from Himachal Pradesh and other parts of the country. “75 per cent of such applications would be granted permit under outside tourist category i.e. the tourist driving their own vehicles from outside Himachal Pradesh. The remaining 25 per cent would be the tourist from other districts of State of Himachal Pradesh,” the circuit bench headed by National Green Tribunal (NGT) Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said. The green panel announced that any vehicle, taxi or tourist, which is found to be violating any condition of the permit or directions of the NGT would be liable to pay Rs 5,000 as environmental compensation for such default. “This amount shall be payable to the administration through Police and other executing departments. In addition to fact that as and when the department of transport issues regular permits for running of vehicle shall not issue such a permit if the person is found to be defaulting more than three times, that permit for running vehicle shall stand cancelled and will not be renewed and computer programmed to reject the request,” the bench said. On the issue of issuing permits, the bench held that online registration for permits to Rohtang should be opened at 10 am every morning and then again at 4 pm on the same day instead of 12 noon as done earlier. “In variation to the practice presently being adopted by the administration all persons concerned would be allowed to login and submit their application online at least a week in advance. In other words the person desiring to have a permit could apply one week in advance to the proposed date of travel,” it said. It also directed installation of CCTV cameras on each check-post within a week for keeping a strict vigil in the area. “These cameras would be connected to the computer and due records would be maintained of the vehicles which cross the barriers and go upto Rohtang for tourism purposes or even otherwise,” the bench said. The tribunal had earlier asked the state government to submit a comprehensive report on various aspects including the ropeway, operationalisation of CNG and electric buses, status with regard to afforestation and establishment of eco-friendly market at Marhi.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT seeks action plan from schools on rainwater harvesting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed private and government schools here to submit an action plan on installing rainwater harvesting systems in their premises. The schools have till Monday to submit their proposals in the NGT registry after serving a copy to the Delhi Jal Board. A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim had given schools five days in its June 15 order. “Each of the noticees (schools) is directed to file memo indicating the stage of the work in progress and further time required to complete the work,” the bench, also comprising expert member Ajay A Deshpande, said. The green panel said the schools need to take immediate steps to set up rainwater harvesting systems as the monsoon season is likely to start soon. The matter is listed for next hearing on July 17. The tribunal had earlier directed schools to install rainwater harvesting systems in their premises within 10 days. In the event of failure, it had warned, each one would be saddled with a cost of Rs 20,000. The NGT had earlier directed the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to inspect private and government schools here after a plea alleged that they had failed to install systems to harvest rainwater in their premises. The direction came during hearing of a plea of Mahesh Chandra Saxena, who claimed to be associated with an NGO working in the field of groundwater conservation. He has claimed that government departments, educational institutions and residential societies had either not installed rainwater harvesting systems, or had set them up but they were non-functional.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT directs CGWA to test ground water in western UP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today directed the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) to analyse ground water samples in six districts of western UP after a plea alleged that contaminated water in villages there was causing cancer. A vacation bench, headed by Justice R S Rathore, asked the CGWA to conduct the test within four weeks and suggest appropriate remedial measures, if needed, to solve the problem on a permanent basis in the villages in Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad and Saharanpur districts. “We consider it just and proper to direct the CGWA to make a study of the underground water in the affected areas so as to ascertain the cause of contamination i.e. geogenic (resulting from geological processes) or man-made. “We grant four weeks time to the CGWA for conducting the study and submit its report before the tribunal,” the bench, also comprising expert member S S Garbyal, said. The direction came after the counsel appearing for the Uttar Pradesh pollution control board told the bench that it will be appropriate to ascertain the reason for water contamination and find out whether it is geogenic or man-made. The matter will be heard again on July 11. The bench had earlier observed that it was the fundamental duty of the state government to look after the health and the environment of the villagers. Earlier, the UP Jal Nigam had faced the NGT’s ire for its failure to comply with a 2015 order directing it to seal all handpumps which were releasing contaminated groundwater in six districts of the western part of the state. The green panel was hearing a petition filed by NGO Doaba Paryavaran Samiti, a retired scientist of the Haryana pollution control board, alleging that due to consumption of contaminated groundwater, over 50 villagers have died due to cancer in western Uttar Pradesh. Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, appearing for the petitioner, sought that heavy cost be imposed on the state authorities so that they learn a lesson as children were also dying after drinking contaminated water. He contended that the people were suffering due to the failure of the authorities.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

States notifying building bye-laws: NGT seeks MoEF’s reply

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has sought the Centre’s response on a plea challenging the recent decision of three states to notify their amended building bye-laws in pursuance of the EIA notification. A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notice to Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) and sought its response before June three, the next date of hearing. MoEF, in an amendment notification published on December 9, 2016 exempted buildings and construction projects of all sizes from the process of environment impact assessment (EIA) and prior environmental clearance before beginning the construction. For smaller projects (less than 20,000 sq metres), it had a “self-declaration” clause, which will ensure issuance of permission from urban local bodies. For larger projects of more than 20,000 sq m size, the EC and building permission will be given by urban local bodies simultaneously in an “integrated format”. The petition claimed that Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and the Delhi governments have already notified their amended building bye-laws in pursuance to the amended EIA notification and several others were also in process of doing it. It alleged that MoEF “continues to receive, consider and grant concurrence” to the amended rules in the absence of any stay on the notification without any power under the Environment Protection Act, 1986. The plea, filed through advocates Sanjay Upadhyay and Salik Shafique, said that the amended building bye-laws issued by the States in pursuance to the EIA amendment notification will create third parties’ rights of several organisations involved in building and construction during the pendency of this matter. “Therefore, directions of this tribunal not to give effect to the operations of building bye-laws exempting prior EC up to 1,50,000 sq metres as well the process of granting concurrence be suspended till the pendency of this matter is necessary,” the plea said. It has sought directions to the three states not to give effect to the operation of amended building bye-laws exempting prior EC during the pendency of the current matter.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT seeks report on cattle blood flowing into Yamuna

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today took Delhi government and other civic authorities to task for not ensuring compliance of its order that no blood should directly seep into the Yamuna due to cattle slaughter. A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim directed the AAP government and Delhi Pollution Control Committee to submit a detailed status report on the issue and sought their reply before July 11. “You people talk of Yamuna and Ganga all the time. We are regularly hearing the cases with regard to pollution in these rivers. We had passed an order in 2015 asking you to ensure that no blood flows in Yamuna. Nothing has happened till date. That’s not fair,” the bench, also comprising Expert Member Nagin Nanda, said. The observations came after a self-styled Swami, Om, appearing on behalf of a religious outfit, sought immediate action into the matter saying that the authorities have failed to ensure compliance of the NGT order. The lawyer appearing for East Delhi Municipal Corporation told the green panel that currently one slaughterhouse was operating in Ghazipur area which has already installed online monitoring system which is linked to Central Pollution Control Board for treating its effluent. The directions came during the hearing of a plea of the religious grouping, Ojasvi party, which has approached the green panel against the pollution caused to the Yamuna river due to slaughter of cattle.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

AOL slams NGT report on destroying Yamuna floodplain area

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Art of Living (AOL) on Monday objected the report filed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on the damage to the biodiversity of the Yamuna River. The AOL challenged the report filed by the expert committee, saying that it was filed without any evidence adding that it suffers from facts. AOL said that the committee report is bad and has exceeded the brief of the NGT. ?If at all, the jurisdiction has to be limited to restoration not rehabilitation,? AOL said. The matter has been adjourned till July 12 and the AOL has been asked to conclude their arguments on July 13. Earlier, the NGT pulled up the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and said that it will hold the local body responsible if any damage happened to the biodiversity of the Yamuna River as it was the former which allowed the Art of Living to hold an event around the bank of the water body. The NGT had also asked the DDA that how much time it will take to restore the environment around the Yamuna bank. Earlier, the DDA had twice refused the application of Art of Living seeking permission to hold the programme on Yamuna Bank but on the third request they gave a nod to the organization. The NGT also questioned the DDA why its officers did not act upon when Art of Living was violating the set rules and conditions in the wake of organizing their program.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Noise pollution: NGT slaps Rs 7L fine on Noida banquet hall

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has slapped a fine of Rs seven lakh on a banquet hall adjacent to a hospital in Noida for causing noise pollution. Imposing a complete ban on the use of loudspeakers in the area to curb noise pollution, a bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim directed Punjabi Club in Noida’s sector 29 strictly conform to the prescribed noise level norms. It asked the Uttar Pradesh pollution control board to maintain a strict vigil and conduct periodical visits to the club to ensure that it under no circumstances, violates the guidelines. The NGT said the club has been running for ten years without permission the board and has caused severe noise pollution affecting the life of the people and patients in the hospital. It ordered the banquet hall owners to pay environmental compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the Bhardwaj Hospital and Rs 2 lakh to the board as a deterrent against future violation. The bench passed the order after perusing an inspection report of the board which said the noise levels exceeded the standard values prescribed under the Noise Rules, 2000. It directed the banquet hall to use double-glazed windows to contain the sound within its premises and create a wall of tall trees around the lawn to minimise the sound level going out. The green panel directed the Noida municipal authorities to put signage which will display the penalty and fine in case of violation under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 at least at five places including areas near hospitals, to make the citizens aware of the laws. The verdict came on a plea filed by Noida resident Rajeev Rai who had approached the green panel complaining about the noise pollution caused by the banquet hall located next to a 40-bed hospital and a church. Rai, who lives close to the banquet hall, had said that Punjabi Club, which was located within the 100 metre-radius of the hospital, fell under “silence zone”. He had sought immediate steps to curtail noise pollution in the area and a complete ban on use of loud speakers there.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Water bodies’ land usurpers will be booked under Gangster

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Commissioner of Meerut zone Prabhat Kumar has directed Ghaziabad administration to book those who grabbed land where water bodies existed under provisions of the Gangster Act. District magistrate Ministhy S said that the commissioner has ordered to take stringent action against land mafia as the Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal (NGT) have strictly ordered to free the ponds from the clutches of land mafia. “They (encroachers) will be sent to jail under the Gangster Act, for this survey will be launched by different government departments,” said District Magistrate Ministhy S. The ponds which were registered in land records of Nagar Nigam and Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) will be traced. It will be the liability of the department concerned to make free their lands and dig ponds on those places. In case the civic bodies fail to do so they have to excavate the ponds on alternative places, the DM said. Houses constructed on illegally sold land within last few months or years will be bulldozed by issuing prior notices to residents and the persons who have sold the land in connivance with government officials will be put to task, she said. The decision was taken in the meeting chaired by Commissioner Kumar in the collectorate here.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Finalise emission norms for diesel locomotives: NGT to MoEF

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to finalise the emission standards for diesel locomotives within two months. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed the order after the counsel for the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) refuted its own earlier submission that the emission norms, prepared by it, have been sent to the MoEF for approval. The lawyer appearing for CPCB told the tribunal that the statement made by him on May 22 was not correct and the facts were not brought to the notice of the tribunal. The CPCB counsel said the emission standards for diesel locomotives was still to be finalised and they would send to the MoEF within four weeks. The submission came in the wake of the green panel’s direction to set standards in this regard and ensure that the railway locomotive engines don’t cause pollution. “MoEF should finalise the same within four weeks thereafter. We make it clear that in the event of default we would be compelled to pass orders while imposing cost upon the defaulting departments,” the bench, also comprising Expert Member Bikram Singh Sajwan, said and fixed the matter for hearing on July 25. The CPCB’s interim report, titled “Exhaust Emission Benchmarks for Diesel Locomotives on Indian Railways”, aims to fix standards and protocols for the sector to achieve the targets submitted by India under the Paris climate change agreement. According to the report, the contribution of emissions from the transport sector on the whole has risen 3.5 times since 1990 to stand at 250 million tonne carbon dioxide, or 13.5 per cent of the total emissions in 2013. The Railways contributed 9.7 per cent of this figure (24.7 million tonne). Globally, however, only 3.5 per cent of the emissions from the transport sector are attributed to the rail sector, CPCB’s report said. “The changes in the energy sources allowed for a reduction of the share of rail transport carbon dioxide emissions from 24 per cent in 1990 to less than 10 per cent in 2013, while rail activity doubled in the same period,” the draft report by CPCB said. Earlier, the tribunal had directed MoEF to hold a meeting with the CPCB and Railways and submit a report on emission standards for diesel locomotive within six weeks. However, when the matter came up for hearing, the Environment Ministry sought more time, saying “the standards are yet to be fixed and one year’s time is required for completion”. The Railways had earlier submitted international standards for emissions from diesel locomotive railway engines and filed a data sheet indicating the emissions from 30 railway engines. According to the data sheet, the emission levels in the tested 30 railway engines were much above international standards. The directions came during the hearing a petition filed by Dwarka resident S K Goyal about harmful emissions from diesel locomotives.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Lead in PVC pipes affecting human health, NGT told

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Water passing through PVC pipes commonly used in most buildings may contain toxic materials like lead, which has a hazardous effect on human health. This was told to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which today directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to lay down standards within four months for using lead in Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) pipes, in consultation with Bureau of Indian Standards. The green panel also directed the MoEF Secretary to draw up a programme for phasing out lead from PVC pipes which is used to stabilise thermal degradation. The directions came on a plea filed by NGO Jan Sahyog Manch seeking directions to take remedial and preventive steps regarding environment and ecological damage caused by the use of lead in manufacturing of PVC pipes and other products. “Use of lead contaminates water travelling through PVC pipes is silently leaving shocking effect on the life of humans. The public at large, in the absence of any printed or visual information, is continuously consuming water travelling through PVC pipes made by using lead stabilisers and which may lead to many effects on health,” the NGO claimed. Noting the harmful effects of lead, the NGT said “in view of the discussions, particularly on the potential adverse health effects due to presence of lead in water flowing through PVC pipes, we feel it necessary that the entire matter of usage of lead as stabiliser in PVC pipes and its desired standards needs to be examined expeditiously on scientific grounds by the MoEF, based on environmental considerations,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said. The NGO has also sought directions to the respondents for constituting an appropriate body to regulate and verify the manufacturing process of the plastic pipes. It called for directions for withdrawal of PVC pipes, containing lead-based heat stabiliser, out of the market and banning the use of such stabilisers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ensure water for animals near N-power plant: NGT to Haryana

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today directed the Haryana government and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to ensure availability of water for animals near a proposed 2800-megawatt nuclear power plant in the Fatehabad district of the state. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the Manohar Lal Khattar government and the project proponent to provide water ducts so that animals from the nearby areas can quench their thirst in the scorching heat. “The Haryana government and the project proponent should ensure availability of water for the animals and provide water holes immediately,” the bench said. The NGT was hearing a plea filed by NGO Akhil Bhartiya Jeev Raksha Bishnoi Sabha challenging the environment clearance granted to NPCIL and seeking its quashing. The direction came after advocate M C Mehta, appearing for the NGO, said the scarcity of the water and inaction of the authorities to take urgent steps to ensure availability of water, was likely to affect the wildlife. The Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojna project at the Gorakhpur village will have four units each of 700-MW capacity, and is to come up at a cost Rs 23,502 crore. A total of 1,503 acres of land has been acquired for the plant, of which the lion’s share of 1,313 acres belongs to the Gorakhpur village. The entire land was acquired from 847 families.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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