NGT prohibits construction of housing complex in north Delhi.

The National Green Tribunal has ordered status quo on construction of a housing complex adjacent to the Delhi University campus.

Applying the “Precautionary Principle” of environmental law, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said evaluation of relevant data is required by a joint Committee comprising representatives of the Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment and Forests and IIT Delhi.

“In the meanwhile, no further construction activity may be undertaken and status quo as on today may be maintained. It will be permissible for the applicant as well as to the project proponent to furnish their viewpoint to the Member Secretary, CPCB for consideration by the committee within two weeks,” the bench said.

The tribunal was hearing a plea by Delhi University challenging the environmental clearance granted to a housing project by by Young Builders (P) Ltd in North Delhi.

The green body said CPCB will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance.

“The Committee may also undertake carrying capacity study of the area with reference to the project in question based on the relevant data. The study may be completed preferably within two months,” the bench said.

The plea, filed through advocates Sanjay Upadhyay and Salik Shafique, had challenged the order of the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority granting Environmental Clearance (EC) for the housing complex located at 1 and 3 Cavalry Lane and 4 Chhatra Marg at Civil Lines here.

It had said the EC could be granted by the Ministry of Environment AND Forests and not by SEIAA as the project is within 10 km from Critically Polluted Area, notified by CPCB.

“Najafgarh, Naraina, Wazirpur and Anand Parbat are critically polluted areas. The project is in Silence Zone being within 100 m from Delhi University and Patel Chest Institute. The area is in water scarcity zone. The Sulphate content of groundwater is above the specified limit.

“As per the project proponent’s own report, the project is susceptible to subsidence and liquefaction during major earthquake. Geo-Technical investigation needs to be carried out which has not been done. Traffic plans/congestion filed by the project proponent with the application is based on the statistics of July 2011,” the plea said.

Notice to Centre and ECI on plea against use of plastic especially banners and hoardings during polls : Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Thursday sought response from the Centre and the Election Commission of India on a plea against use of plastic, especially banners and hoardings, during elections.

A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the poll panel while seeking their response within four weeks.

The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by one W Edwin Wilson against the National Green Tribunal’s order asking the Election Commission of India and the Chief Electoral Officers of all states and Union Territories to monitor the compliance of advisories against the use of plastic.

The plea in apex court said that NGT did not pass effective order on the main issue of ban on PVC banners use in elections which are a huge menace.

Wilson had claimed that campaigning material made of plastic is used during elections and later discarded as waste, which was detrimental to the environment.

52 teams formed for sealing illegal bore wells in Delhi: DPCC to NGT

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has told the National Green Tribunal that 52 teams have been formed for sealing illegal bore wells in the national capital.

DPCC told a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel that action plans have been prepared by divisional commissioners at district level.

“As per action plan all remaining bore wells were targeted to be sealed by March 20 2020. 52 teams have been formed for sealing action which includes Revenue and DJB officials. Since November 8,293 illegal bore wells have been sealed,” DPCC said.

The tribunal also took note of a meeting held on November 15 where it was decided that Delhi Jal Board will give the complete list of 19,154 illegal bore wells to District Magistrate (Head Quarter) who will prepare district-wise list and send it to concerned DMs for sealing illegal bore wells.

In the meeting, it was also decided that since most of the illegal bore wells are concentrated in three districts, SDMs from other districts will also be deployed by constituting appropriate number of teams under the supervision of SDMs so that illegal bore wells could be sealed expeditiously.

The NGT said entire action in the matter will be completed by March 31, 2020 and sought a compliance report by e-mail.

The matter is listed for next hearing on April 22, 2020.

The tribunal has earlier directed DPCC to coordinate with concerned officials to ensure action against those operating illegal bore wells so as to protect groundwater.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by city resident Abdul Farukh alleging that water is being drawn from government tube wells at Chandan Hulla village in Chhatarpur and being sold by private tanker owners.

The plea said earlier, action had been taken against them but the problem still continues.

52 teams formed for sealing illegal bore wells in Delhi: DPCC to NGT

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has told the National Green Tribunal that 52 teams have been formed for sealing illegal bore wells in the national capital.

DPCC told a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel that action plans have been prepared by divisional commissioners at district level.

“As per action plan all remaining bore wells were targeted to be sealed by March 20 2020. 52 teams have been formed for sealing action which includes Revenue and DJB officials. Since November 8,293 illegal bore wells have been sealed,” DPCC said.

The tribunal also took note of a meeting held on November 15 where it was decided that Delhi Jal Board will give the complete list of 19,154 illegal bore wells to District Magistrate (Head Quarter) who will prepare district-wise list and send it to concerned DMs for sealing illegal bore wells.

In the meeting, it was also decided that since most of the illegal bore wells are concentrated in three districts, SDMs from other districts will also be deployed by constituting appropriate number of teams under the supervision of SDMs so that illegal bore wells could be sealed expeditiously.

The NGT said entire action in the matter will be completed by March 31, 2020 and sought a compliance report by e-mail.

The matter is listed for next hearing on April 22, 2020.

The tribunal has earlier directed DPCC to coordinate with concerned officials to ensure action against those operating illegal bore wells so as to protect groundwater.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by city resident Abdul Farukh alleging that water is being drawn from government tube wells at Chandan Hulla village in Chhatarpur and being sold by private tanker owners.

The plea said earlier, action had been taken against them but the problem still continues.

National Green Tribunal refuses to unseal Haj House in Ghaziabad

The National Green Tribunal Wednesday refused to unseal the Haj House in Ghaziabad for failing to setup a sewage treatment plant (STP).

The Haj House in Uttar Pradesh’s Arthala village is an under-construction seven-storey building located near the Hindon river and it was sealed last year.

A vacation bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore said the plea filed by the Uttar Pradesh State Haj Committee cannot be allowed as a larger bench has already passed orders in the matter.

The green panel had directed the Uttar Pradesh Haj House Committee to ensure that a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) of 136 kilo litre per day is installed there to treat domestic effluent.

Earlier,permission was granted to unseal the facility, but it was for limited period. Moreover, the Haj House is yet to setup a STP, it said.


“In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, an order passed by the larger bench of the tribunal on March 12 in the miscellaneous application filed by the present applicant himself, we are of the considered opinion that the prayer made in the present application filed for the second time, no relief can be granted to the applicant by this vacation bench, particularly when the initial order has been passed,” the bench said.

The green panel had earlier junked a plea seeking demolition of a building for Haj pilgrims in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, noting that the structure does not fall on the flood plains of the Hindon river.

It had dismissed the petition filed by an NGO and a Ghaziabad resident claiming that the land where the Haj House was being constructed was recorded as ‘Hindon River’ in the revenue records of Arthala village in Ghaziabad.

According to the plea, the construction of Haj House was in complete violation of the directions of the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh to all authorities, including police, to ensure that no construction of any kind is allowed on the floodplain.

It had also referred to the 2013 NGT order which had taken note of the several illegal construction on the floodplains and passed a restraining order against any illegal construction of temporary or permanent nature on floodplains of Yamuna and Hindon.

Offering a capacity of 2,500 pilgrims at a time like the Lucknow Haj house, the Ghaziabad Haj house will have arrangements for foreign exchange, immigration, medical aid and other amenities for the pilgrims. A separate administrative block is also being constructed.

Finalise standards for lead in PVC pipes within 2 months: National Green Tribunal

 The National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre to finalise within two months the standards for using lead in Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) pipes which are commonly used in most buildings.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to finalise a draft notification within the stipulated period.

“We find that once the expert committee has recommended issuance of draft notification on December 13, 2018, there is no reason to further delay the publication of the draft notification and finalisation of the same in such a sensitive matter of environment,” the bench said.

“Accordingly, the MoEF may now publish the draft notification, if not yet published, and finalise the same at the earliest and furnish compliance report within two months by e-mail,” it added.

The tribunal was informed by the Environment Ministry that draft rules were considered on December 13, 2018 and a recommendation was made to issue a draft notification as per the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

The NGT was earlier informed that water passing through PVC pipes commonly used in most buildings may contain toxic materials like lead, which has a hazardous effect on human health.

The green panel was hearing a plea filed by environment activist Ajay Kumar Singh, seeking the issuance of notification to lay down standards for lead to be used in PVC pipes and to phase out lead as a stabiliser in PVC pipes.

The plea also sought directions for withdrawal of PVC pipes, containing lead-based heat stabiliser, from the market and a ban on the use of such stabilisers.

National Green Tribunal refuses to review order slapping 5Lakh fine on schools and colleges

The National Green Tribunal on Thursday refused to review its order slapping a fine of Rs 5 lakh each on schools and colleges which have failed to install rain water harvesting systems on their premises.

A bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore said the execution of the order of the tribunal had not been made by the parties during the entire 2018.

“Therefore, a detail order was passed by the tribunal on January 30 after taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances. By the said order, directions were issued to all the educational institutions in NCT Delhi, including South Delhi Municipal Corporation who were also party in the original application. Thereafter, another order was passed on February 22,” it noted.

The green panel said that despite the specific order passed by the larger bench of the tribunal on November 16 with the specific time frame, the same was not implemented within the period of two months.

It said that a review plea cannot be accepted for the reason that had the parties started the work in execution of the order since November, 2017, the work would have been completed much earlier.

It is only after passing of the order in the execution application that the respondent authorities have come into action, it said.

“In this execution application the tribunal has only imposed the environmental compensation which was ordered on November 16, 2017. In fact the defaulting persons are liable for further compensation/cost for not completing the rainwater harvesting system within the time schedule. During the intervening period one monsoon season has already lapsed,” the tribunal said.

“In the aforesaid facts and circumstances and the specific order passed on November 16 as well as the fact that in case of default environmental compensation was already fixed by the tribunal in its order while deciding the original application, we do not find any error apparent on the face of the record in the orders dated January 30 and February 22.

The tribunal had earlier directed the Ministry of Human Resource Development to inform it within a week about the status of installation of rainwater harvesting systems in Kendriya and Navodaya Vidyalayas here.

The NGT had earlier imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh each on educational institutions in the national capital for failing to install rainwater harvesting systems.

The tribunal’s direction had come on a plea filed by city resident Mahesh Chandra Saxena.

National Green Tribunal raps officials over action plan on noise pollution

 The National Green Tribunal has rapped the police and the district adminstration over their action plan to check noise pollution in West Delhi and termed the ATR as “inaction report”.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the DCP and the SDM are merely avoiding the responsibility and shifting the burden to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) or others.

DCP Deepak Purohit and SDM Nitin Jindal, who were present at NGT, informed the tribunal in their action report that an exclusive website and a helpline were being be developed by DPCC.

It had also been asked to undertake programme of awareness and a separate head has been created for the calls relating to noise pollution.

“We find that the action taken report (ATR) is in fact ‘Inaction Report. The DCP and the SDM need to be trained for the job for which they have been appointed. They are merely avoiding the responsibility and shifting the burden to the DPCC or others. It is difficult to accept that only DPCC can create awareness or that only DPCC can create website and DCP and SDM are unfit for the job,” the bench said.

The green panel directed the chief secretary and the Police Commissioner to monitor the situation and file a report within a month by e-mail.

It also directed the DCP and SDM to take steps for starting the website within a month and furnish a compliance report.

“It will be open to them to take assistance from any experts but not to shift responsibility. The website should be interactive. Hot spots should be identified and mapped and kept under surveillance. They may take guidance from experts including the DPCC and Central Pollution Control Board to understand their mandate and acquire minimum knowledge required for the job,” the bench said.

The tribunal said that violation of noise pollution norms is a criminal offence under Section 15 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, apart from Sections 268/290/291 IPC and it is mandate of Delhi Police to enforce the law.

Noise free environment is a part of fundamental right to life for the citizens, it said.

“We also direct the three Municipal Corporations in Delhi, the New Delhi Municipal Council and the Delhi Cantonment Board to acquire noise monitoring devices at the earliest. Technical assistance for the purpose can be taken from CPCB/DPCC.

“Awareness programmes may be undertaken by the Joint Committee by coordinating with the Residents Welfare Associations and the educational departments or other volunteers. In the present case, unfortunately the committee has simply avoided its responsibility in this regard by taking the plea that it has asked DPCC to do so. The committee is either not competent or not sincere. The higher authorities are not monitoring their working as expected,” NGT said.

The tribunal sought a fresh ATR by the Joint Committee before June 30.

The tribunal had earlier rapped the Delhi government for its failure to check noise pollution in West Delhi and slapped a fine of Rs 5 lakh on it for non-compliance of its order.

The green panel had said that neither a dedicated 24 hour helpline nor a public redressal mechanism has been devised for receiving complaints by SMS, telephone or e-mails.

It had also noted that even the DCP and the SDM have not held joint weekly meeting to review the situation.

The green panel on September 27, 2018 had passed a slew of directions and said Delhi Chief Secretary, Commissioner of Police and Delhi Pollution Control Committee will be responsible for enforcement of the directions.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Hardeep Singh and others alleging that bars and restaurants in Rajouri Garden area were using loud speakers and DJ systems during weddings, receptions, parties and other functions and causing noise pollution from 10 pm to 6 am.

NGT acts tough on air pollution and directs 6 states to submit action plan by April 30

 The National Green Tribunal has directed six states to submit by April 30 action plans for bringing air quality standards within the prescribed norms, failing which they would be liable to pay environment compensation of Rs 1 crore each.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel ordered the chief secretaries of Assam, Jharkhand Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Nagaland governments to submit their plan within the stipulated time.

“We direct chief secretaries of the states in respect of which action plans have not been filed to forthwith furnish such action plans,” the bench, also comprising Justices S P Wangdi and K Ramakrishnan, said.

The States, where action plans are found to be deficient and deficiencies are not removed till April 30, 2019, will be liable to pay Rs 25 lakh each and the timeline for execution of the action plans is six months from the date their finalisation, the bench said.

It said that budgetary provision must be made for execution of such plans.

The tribunal warned that if action plans are not executed within the specified timeline, the defaulting states will be liable to pay environmental compensation and may also be required to furnish performance guarantee for execution of plans in extended timeline as per recommendations received from the Central Pollution Control Board.

“The CPCB is directed to update the number of cities. If on parameters applied, there are other cities, not included in list of 102, such cities may be also included,” the NGT said.

The direction came after the CPCB informed it that out of 102 cities, action plan has been received from 83 cities while 19 have not submitted the plan.

The NGT will take up the matter for further consideration on July 19.

Concerned over the threat posed to limited natural resources due to their overuse, the tribunal has directed for assessment of carrying capacity of 102 cities, including Delhi, where air quality does not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

The concept of “carrying capacity” addresses the question as to how many people can be permitted into any area without the risk of degrading the environment there.

The tribunal had said the Ministry of Urban Development in coordination with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Ministry of Transport, authorities such as Planning Commission and states may carry out such study with the assistance of experts in the field.

It had said that it is undisputed that air pollution is a matter of serious concern and large number of deaths take place every year in the country on account of air pollution.

The NGT had said Delhi is over-polluted and figures quite high in the ranking of most polluted cities and there is no study about the capacity of the city with respect to the extent of population which can be accommodated and number of vehicles which can be handled by its roads.

NGT directs police to remove encroachments by scrap dealers in R K Puram

The National Green Tribunal has directed the police to remove encroachments due to construction of shops and godowns of scrap dealers in R K Puram here, on a plea alleging that it caused pollution.

A bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore asked the Station House Officer of the area to take immediate action against the encroachers as and when the municipal corporation informs him.

“After considering the submission by the counsels for the parties, we consider it proper to direct the Deputy Commissioner of Police, South-West Delhi, to ensure that there is no encroachment in the area in question… It shall also be the responsibility of the Deputy Commissioner of Police to see that the encroachers do not resettle in the area,” the bench said.

The green panel was hearing a plea filed by Khushi Sewa Sanstha seeking action against unauthorised commercial activity by scrap dealers in sector 1 of R K Puram and alleged that this was resulting in different forms of pollution.

The plea had alleged that despite several complaints, no action was taken by the authorities concerned, resulting in the degradation of the environment.

The tribunal also granted liberty to petitioner Khushi Sewa Sanstha that in case it has any grievance, it would be free to submit a representation to the Commissioner, South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), and the DCP giving out the details of the encroachments and their names so that proper action may be taken.

During the hearing, the SDMC told the NGT that encroachments have been removed and they are keeping a continuous vigil over the area and as and when any encroachment is made, the same is immediately removed.

“It has also been submitted by the SDMC counsel that some jhuggi and jhopdis which are existing in the area are to be looked into and taken care of by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board,” the tribunal noted.