Ensure no posters, pamphlets are put up on DU walls: NGT

To avoid defacement of the campus, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Delhi University to strictly ensure that no posters or pamphlets are put up on the walls of its premises.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the Delhi government to provide requisite help to the university in ensuring compliance with the order.

“The counsels appearing for Delhi University as well as Election Officer of the Delhi University submit that the posters have now been removed and they will ensure that in future no posters are permitted to be pasted on any part of the university or the area around the university to avoid defacement of the premises as well as to prevent environmental degradation,” the bench has said.

“The counsel (for DU) also submits that they would take appropriate action against the candidates whose posters are pasted, if at all, on the premises in violation to the orders of the Tribunal. The above statement should be maintained not only during election but even on all other times,” it said.

The direction came yesterday while disposing of the plea filed by Delhi University law student Nithin Chandran, through advocate Aditya Parolia against indiscriminate wastage of paper during student body elections.

During the proceedings, an affidavit filed by the Chief Election Officer of the DU was placed on record which said the university has imposed fine of Rs 5,000 on all the violators.

The counsel appearing for the university assured the bench that the varsity would strictly comply with the order of the tribunal and ensure that there is no defacement of public property.

Chandran had earlier told the tribunal that despite specific direction that no paper in form of posters or pamphlets will be used for campaigning, there was rampant violation of the order during elections.

The NGT had earlier warned Delhi University students that they may face rustication if found pasting posters on campus walls or distributing pamphlets ahead of Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections on September 12.

It had directed the Delhi University authorities to remove within 24 hours all posters defacing the university properties and said violators would be fined Rs 5,000.

The tribunal had made it clear that if students are found violating its directions again, the varsity authorities may even rusticate them.

Chandran, in his plea, had said that every year in the elections to DUSU and other student bodies, “the quantity of paper wasted in canvassing and campaigning is huge and the damage therein to the environment is irreparable”.

“On every election, tonnes of paper is wasted for canvassing by candidates and their supporters. Wherein, there is no accountability for usage of paper and neither there is any norm or procedure for re-cycling of this wastepaper,” the plea had said.

The petitioner had also cited the Supreme Court’s 2006 order directing universities to implement the recommendations of the J M Lyngdoh committee in student body polls.

The committee had recommended prohibition of the use of printed paper and posters for canvassing.

NGT directs Centre to submit report on steps to clean Ganga

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh and the Uttarakhand governments to file affidavits stating what steps they have taken to comply with its directions to clean the Ganga in the stretch between Gomukh and Unnao.

The green panel, in a detailed judgement, had passed a slew of directions to rejuvenate Ganga, declaring as ‘No Development Zone’ an area of 100 metres from the edge of the river between Haridwar and Unnao and prohibiting dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also asked all the stakeholders to state what course of action they propose to take in relation to Phase-2 from Kanpur to the UP border.

“We make it clear that in the event now the compliance is not made, to the directions of the tribunal, we will be compelled to pass coercive orders. Let copy of this order be provided to the chief secretaries of UP and Uttarakhand.

“All the counsels appearing for their respective clients will inform these directions to them. Copy of this order, also, be sent to DG of National Mission for Clean Ganga; Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources and Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for compliance,” the bench said.

The matter is listed for next hearing on October 24.

The tribunal had earlier, in a detailed judgement, said the government has spent over Rs 7,000 crore in two years to clean the Ganga which still remains a “serious environmental issue”.

The order, running into 543 pages, said “till the demarcation of floodplains and identification of permissible and non-permissible activities by the state government of this judgement, we direct that 100 metres from the edge of the river would be treated as no development/construction zone between Haridwar to Unnao in UP.”

‘No-development zones’ are areas where no construction including commercial or residential buildings can come up.

It also imposed a complete prohibition on disposal of municipal solid waste, e-waste or bio-medical waste on the floodplains or into the river and its tributaries.

The tribunal reiterated its earlier order of ban on mechanical mining in Ganga and said “no in-stream mechanical mining is permitted and even the mining on the flood plain should be semi-mechanical and preferably more manual.

NGT slaps fine on Delhi Technological University

The National Green Tribunal has imposed a penalty on the Delhi Technological University (DTU) for failing to devise a mechanism to treat the huge quantity of waste generated by it and not complying with environment laws.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar imposed an environment compensation of Rs 25,000 on the erring educational body for not taking adequate protection for protection of ecology.

“Noticee submits that they have received the show cause notice and they have taken steps as were required. However, it is a continuous process and it is assured by the counsel on behalf of noticee that in future also they will comply with all steps and install requisite anti-pollution devices.

“We accept the statement made before the tribunal, subject to payment of Rs 25,000 as environmental compensation.

The payment should be made within two weeks to Delhi Pollution Control Committee, failing which the same shall be recovered as arrears of land revenue by the concerned,” the bench said.

In 1963, the administration of the DTU, earlier known as the Delhi College of Engineering (DCE), was handed over to the Delhi administration.

The Delhi College of Engineering was under administrative control of Department of Technical Education and Training of the Delhi government. For academic purposes, the college was affiliated to the University of Delhi since 1952. From July 2009, the DCE was renamed Delhi Technological University vide the Delhi Act 6 of 2009.

Earlier, the NGT had imposed an environment compensation of Rs 25,000 each on Vivekananda Mahila College, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies and Shyam Lal College and directed them to install anti-pollution devices within three months.

In the event of default, these colleges would be liable to pay environmental compensation of Rs 5 lakh and shut down, it had said.

The NGT order had come after it examined an interim report submitted by a committee set up by it which had recommended action against defaulting bodies for improper management and treatment of sewage and lack of mechanism to recycle waste.

The tribunal had constituted the committee comprising representatives of the ministries of Environment and Urban Development, Director General of Health Services, Medical Council of India, DDA, municipal corporations, the Delhi government, Central Pollution Control Board, railways and Delhi Pollution Control Committee. It also had four independent experts.

It had directed the committee to inspect all five-star hotels, hospitals which have more than 200 beds, cooperative group housing societies with over 300 flats, markets, shopping malls with built up area of over 50,000 sq mts, colleges having hostel accommodating more than 500 students in Delhi.

The green body had noted that Delhi generates nearly 14,100 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste per day and said that the mass generators of waste cannot be equated to a simple households generating trash.

Stubble burning: NGT asks 4 states to show cases of farmers given incentive

 The National Green Tribunal has directed the governments of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to submit before it specific cases of small farmers being given incentive to desist them from burning crop residue in a bid to prevent air pollution.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the four northern states to submit within three weeks at least 10 such cases.

“The Additional Chief Secretary, Principal Secretaries and Special Secretary, of State of Punjab, State of Rajasthan, State of Uttar Pradesh and State of Haryana respectively are present.

“They assure the tribunal that within three weeks from today, they would bring at least 10 cases of preferably marginal farmers to provide due incentive, help and means to them, so that they do not follow traditional methodology of crop residue burning in the field itself.

“Besides taking general steps in accordance to the order of the tribunal that list of these 10 cases from a particular village or area, falls in their jurisdiction, be placed before the tribunal, with complete documentation with regard to delivery and utilisation of the agricultural residue in accordance,” the bench said.

The direction came after a group of farmers alleged that the Punjab government was not taking any effective steps on the issue except passing orders and not providing infrastructure or any kind of benefits to them.

The matter is fixed for hearing on October 4.

The green panel had earlier rapped the four northern states for not submitting action plans to prevent pollution emanating from crop burning after the harvest season.

It had directed the governments of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan to show how the field staff of the departments concerned and the state pollution control boards were going to control pollution caused by crop residue burning.

The NGT had earlier fixed the environment penalty amounts per incident of crop burning to be paid by small land owners having less than two acres of land at Rs 2,500, medium land owners holding over two acres and less than five acres at Rs 5,000 and those owning over five acres at Rs 15,000.

It had also directed the state governments to take coercive and punitive action against persistent defaulters and asked them to withdraw the assistance provided to such farmers.

The green panel had said the five states–Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi–which had issued notifications prohibiting agriculture crop residue burning, should ensure that these notifications were enforced rigorously and proper action was taken against the defaulters.

The NGT’s order had come on a plea by environmentalist Vikrant Tongad who had sought a ban on burning of agricultural waste and remnants in open fields

NGT asks commercial buildings in Shimla to set up STPs

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed all commercial buildings in Shimla which have a discharge of more than 5 KLD (kilo litres per day) to establish their own sewage treatment plant (STP) within three months.

A circuit bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the Himachal Pradesh government and the state pollution control board to issue notice to all such builders within two weeks and ask them to comply with the direction without default.

“Report of compliance should also be submitted before the next date of hearing. It shall also deal with the issue of storm water drain carrying municipal solid waste and other pollutant to the source of water,” the bench, also comprising Justice Dalip Singh, said in its order passed recently.

The order came after lawyers appearing for the state pollution control board and the Shimla Municipal Corporation told the bench that any building discharging more than 5 KLD sewage and effluent every day should have its own STP in the interest of environment.

The green panel also sought complete data as to how many drains carry sewage in the entire city of Shimla within the municipal corporation.

The matter is listed for next hearing on July 21.

The NGT was hearing a plea filed by Shimla-based advocate Abhimanyu Rathor seeking direction to concerned agencies to formulate an action plan for the collection and disposal of municipal solid waste.

NGT transfers Darjeeling pollution case to Eastern Bench

The National Green Tribunal has transferred a case relating to the indiscriminate dumping of municipal waste in the picturesque Darjeeling and pollution in Mahananda river to the Eastern Zonal Bench.

A bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, passed the order after lawyers appearing for the parties informed it that a similar case was pending before the Eastern Zonal Bench in Kolkata.

“The counsel appearing for the State of West Bengal and Siliguri Municipal Corporation submit that the case involving the same question in relation to river Mahananda in Siliguri is pending before the Eastern Zonal Bench of the Tribunal. In view of the circumstances, we direct that this Application be transferred to the Eastern Zonal Bench, Kolkata of National Green Tribunal,” the bench said.

The green panel had earlier issued notices to the West Bengal government, state pollution control board, Siliguri Municipal Corporation and its Deputy Commissioner in the case.

“It has been brought to the notice of the tribunal that there are serious environmental issues in relation to pollution of river Mahananda in Siliguri, District Darjeeling and indiscriminate dumping of municipal solid waste all over the city.

“Despite the fact that the matter was brought to the notice of public authorities, they have failed to take any remedial and precautionary steps. The river is being polluted by discharge of sewage and other effluents and dumping of waste. Consequently, we issue notice,” the bench had said.

The NGT took suo motu (on its own) cognisance of the reckless dumping of waste in Darjeeling city and pollution in Mahananda river and issued the notices, pointing out that the authorities had failed to act despite the matter being brought to their notice

NGT asks Delhi government to for report on quality of water

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi government to submit a complete and comprehensive report on quality and quantity of water that is being supplied to end users at various localities of the national capital on random sample basis.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the committee comprising environment secretary of the Delhi government, representatives from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) and the municipal corporations to file the report before February 13.

“In the meanwhile, the NCT of Delhi would file a complete and comprehensive report which must be self-contained and comply with directions issued by the tribunal,” the bench said.

The tribunal had earlier taken exception to non-submission of a status report on quality of water supplied to households in the national capital by the Delhi government despite repeated directions.

Noting that not even a single report has been filed till date, the bench had summoned the environment secretary of the Delhi government with the report.

The issue of water supply in the capital had last year prompted the tribunal to seek the response of the city government in the matter.

The green panel had taken suo motu cognisance of a newspaper report, which had revealed that the “stinking and dirty” water flowing through water supply lines and the borewells were pumping out contaminated water.

Later, it had constituted a committee comprising the environment secretary and representatives from CPCB, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, DJB, and all municipal corporations and asked them to submit a complete and comprehensive report.

“This committee shall examine and get the areas identified where the ground water is contaminated as well as the directions that should be passed, whether prohibitory or precautionary, ensuring that it is not permitted to be extracted and in any case not distributed for human consumption…

“The committee will ensure that samples of the water from different areas are collected, analysed and reports be placed before it before submission of the final report,” it had said.

Restaurant causing pollution: NGT notice to EDMC

air-pollution-storyThe National Green Tribunal has issued notice to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) on a plea seeking closure of a restaurant in East Delhi for allegedly causing air and water pollution.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar sought response from EDMC and asked its concerned officer to be present before it on November 10 on the plea of a local resident claiming commercial use of the property in a residential area.

“The counsel appearing for Delhi Development Authority submits that there is apparent commercial use of the property in a residential area. However, he states that East Delhi Municipal Corporation is an appropriate authority to take action as the property in question has already been handed over to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation. Let notice be issued to East Delhi Municipal Corporation,” the bench said.

The tribunal directed the officer concerned of East Delhi Municipal Corporation along with that of Delhi Development Authority to be present before it on November 10, the next date of hearing.

The NGT was hearing a plea filed by Praveen Gupta seeking closure of the restaurant-cum-party hall in Dilshad Garden here.

The plea, filed through advocate Siddhartha Singh, claimed that till date this restaurant has not applied for consent under Air and Water Act from Delhi Pollution Control Committee and was not complying with the prescribed environ mental norms.

It further said that very often there are wedding parties and loud music being played by DJs which creates noise pollution in the area affecting students and senior citizens who have no option but to face this pollution.

“Besides loudspeakers and music systems, generator is also installed which not only causes noise pollution but also deteriorates air quality of the area.

“A number of complaints were also lodged with authorities regarding air-pollution but authorities have not taken any action till date,” it alleged.

Flouting bldng norms: NGT asks SDMC to act against big players

Flouting bldng norms: NGT asks SDMC to act against big players
Flouting bldng norms: NGT asks SDMC to act against big players

The National Green Tribunal has taken exception to South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s levy of fine on “minor” nature of construction violation and directed it to crack the whip on commercial builders.

The green panel expressed displeasure on the penalty imposed on constructions being carried out on smaller plots rather than initiating action against big players in the real estate sector.

“Have you (SDMC) challaned a single builder for violation of construction norms? Have you caught hold of single commercial builder in South Delhi,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

The observation came during hearing of a case related to air pollution in which it had last year issued notices to various persons to show cause why environmental compensation of Rs 50,000 not be imposed upon them for causing pollution.

When the noticees appeared before the bench, they challenged the notices being issued to them and sought inspection report from SDMC.

However, the counsel appearing for the SDMC submitted that the officers have physically inspected the sites and thereafter issued notices to the owner of the houses.

Taking note of submissions, the tribunal directed the SDMC lawyer to instruct the officer concerned to be present with complete records of the inspection and the violation found by them on the next date of hearing.

It also ordered municipal corporations to maintain a separate account of environmental compensation paid under the orders of the tribunal and restrained the civic bodies from spending it without its permission.

During the hearing, the NGT also reduced the fine amount on violators depending on the size of plots of the owners.

“We have heard the noticees who are present. The general plea being raised before the tribunal is that most of the noticees have owned properties less than 100 square yard and even less than 50 square yard and they have not committed any violation. We see that the violation committed is of a very minor nature. They have kept their construction materials within their premises.

“On the facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the considered view that the amount of environmental compensation could be reduced in all these cases. Therefore, we direct that the person/noticees whose houses are built or were being under repair, on a plot area of 50 square yard or less, would be liable to pay environmental compensation of only Rs 5000 each,” the bench said.

( Source – PTI )

NGT asks Centre to provide Rs 17.5 cr for CNG station in HP

NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter KumarThe National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre to provide financial assistance of Rs 17.5 crore for setting up two gas stations in Himachal Pradesh and asked the state to commence CNG bus services in eco-sensitive Rohtang Pass area “without fail” in the coming tourist season.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the Ministry of Petroleum to look into the issue of setting CNG stations at Tahliwal and Manali and “consider” its case “objectively and purposefully”.

“We direct Secretary of Ministry of Petroleum to consider the case of the state of Himachal Pradesh for financial assistance in relation to Rs 17.5 crore expenditure to be incurred in that regard.

“Under the federal structure of our Constitution, environment being central subject, it is expected that both the governments would put their means together to achieve the object of clean environment, which is a fundamental right of the citizens,” the bench said, adding the activity would add revenue to state government and Centre.

The direction came after counsel appearing for Ministry of Petroleum told the bench that they do not have any policy to support the Himachal government for setting up CNG stations.

The green panel also directed Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum to convene a meeting within a week with Himachal Pradesh, Green Gas Ltd and other concerned to take a final view on the matter.

To minimise pollution in the Rohtang Pass area, the tribunal had cleared the decks for plying of CNG buses on the 51-km-long Manali-Rohtang highway.

The tribunal’s nod to plying of CNG buses had come after Himachal Pradesh government told a bench that trial run was successful and the state has planned to introduce these buses for regular operation from Vashist to Rohtang Pass.

The tribunal had earlier directed the Centre and all the departments concerned of the state to extend their full cooperation for the project to protect Rohtang.

It said the CNG project needs to be dealt expeditiously in order to protect the eco-sensitive area of Rohtang which is one of the most beautiful part of the state.