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Reintroduction of the Asiatic Lion Precedence of Politics over Rule of Law

Reintroduction of the Asiatic Lion Precedence of Politics over Rule of Law

The population of the Asiatic lion is confined only to Gujarat, and constitutes a single population that is vulnerable to extinction. In 2013, the Supreme Court directed that a second home be created for the Asiatic lion in Kuno–Palpur Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. However, no concrete steps have been taken in this direction. On the contrary, regressive policy changes have been carried out with the clear objective of undermining the Supreme Court’s judgment.

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When wings were rightly clipped

When wings were rightly clipped

In his ET article, ‘The Need to Mope About Mopa’ (April 15, bit.do/eQG6s), NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant describes the Supreme Court’s suspension of the approval granted to build an airport in Mopa, Goa, as ‘unfortunate’. He goes on to state that the decision will be “irreparably harmful for investor confidence and foreign investment” and is a “dangerous precedent to set”. It is neither, and the court’s decision is welcome.

Read more at : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/blogs/et-commentary/when-wings-were-rightly-clipped/

 

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The Divya Pharmacy case: an important precedent on biological resource use

The Divya Pharmacy case: an important precedent on biological resource use

In a landmark judgment delivered in December 2018 in the Divya Pharmacy versus Union of India case, the Uttarakhand High Court held that all Indian companies which are extracting biological resources are liable to seek prior approval as well as share part of their revenue with the local communities that are responsible for conserving and protecting such resources. The final judgment was an outcome of a litigation spanning multiple hearings over two years in which Divya Pharmacy vehemently opposed either seeking prior approval from the State Biodiversity Board or sharing a part of its revenue with the local communities as ‘fees’ under what is termed as ‘fair and equitable sharing of benefit’

https://www.telegraphindia.com/opinion/the-divya-pharmacy-case-uttarakhand-court-sets-an-important-legal-precedent-on-benefit-sharing-from-biological-resources/cid/1683795

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India’s new National Wildlife Action Plan: lacking action and plan

India’s new National Wildlife Action Plan: lacking action and plan

India’s wildlife is in a crisis.  The crisis stems not just from traditional threats to wildlife such as deforestation, poaching, and habitat destruction, but also from a complete policy paralysis and governance failure with respect to the conservation of wildlife. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) today functions with two part time ministers; the National Board for Wildlife has not met since the present government came to power and the success of the MoEFCC is judged by the number of Environmental and Forest clearances it has granted, therefore facilitating the ‘ease of doing business’. It is with the above background in mind that one has to look at the new National Wildlife Action Plan (NWAP) for 2017–31.   The question to ask is whether the new action plan will be able to achieve the goal of wildlife conservation in the currentera of ‘business above all’.

To read the full artilce please click on the link : https://www.currentconservation.org/issues/indias-new-national-wildlife-action-plan-lacking-action-and-plan/

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A National Law for Urban Trees

A National Law for Urban Trees

Trees become the first victims of infrastructure expansion in urban areas. Laws and institutions for the protection of trees have not kept pace with the increasing developmental pressures. A fundamental reform in the law is needed, so that it is able to comprehensively protect trees in an urban landscape.

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EPCA Was Specially Empowered to Deal With Air Pollution Crises. Is It Working?

EPCA Was Specially Empowered to Deal With Air Pollution Crises. Is It Working?

This is the first of a two-part analysis of the EPCA’s performance. The second part will be published tomorrow.

The National Capital Region is in a state of environmental emergency. For a purely winter phenomenon, air quality is way worse than is acceptable throughout the year.

Read in detail:https://thewire.in/government/epca-was-specially-empowered-to-deal-with-air-pollution-crises-is-it-working/amp/

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NGT imposes fine of Rs10 crore on Faridabad Builder for environmental Pollution

NGT imposes fine of Rs10 crore on Faridabad Builder for environmental Pollution

The National Green Tribunal’s bench of ChairpersonAdarsh Kumar Goel , Judicial Member S.P. Wangdi, Judicial member K. Ramakrishnan , Expert member Nagin Nanda and Expert member Saibal Dasgupta has in the matter of Mukund Dhote Versus Union of India &Ors imposed an interim compensation of Rs 10 crore on a Faridabad builder for violating environmental norms and causing pollution. It was held that, “Pollution cannot be allowed to be profitable activity. The environment is priceless. Intentional violations have to be visited with more stringent damages than accidental or unintended.”

The Tribunal has directed the State of Haryana and the State PCB to take further remedial action by way of appropriate coercive measures including black listing of the project proponent from undertaking such projects in future till environmental norms are fully carried out, sealing and taking possession of public utility spaces in the project, sealing and taking over of vacant flats if any, requiring compliance of other remedial steps.

A representative of Town and Country Planning, Haryana may also be associated. Revised compensation may be assessed and recovered on the pattern of earlier orders of this Tribunal noted above by a joint Committee MoEF&CC, CPCB and State PCB.

It has determined interim compensation of Rs. 10 Crores on the basis of size of the project, financial capacity of the project proponent and magnitude of the violations. The Tribunal relied on the Judgment of the Supreme Court in the matter of Goel Ganga Developers Pvt. Ltd. v. Union of India and Ors. wherein 5% of the total cost of the Project was levied as compensation payable for violating the conditions of the Environment Clearance.

Joint Inspection report

A joint report was sought from the MoEF&CC and State PCB with reference to the allegation that housing project ‘Vesta Heights’, Village Baselwa, Sector-86, Faridabad, Haryana operated by respondent no-5 was in violation of conditions of Environmental Clearance and the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.

The joint inspection report dated 01.07.2019 was filed with the status of compliance of conditions ofEnvironmental Clearance (EC). It mentions the violations of EC conditions including non-installation of STPs in terms of EC condition, there being no water meters flow measurementdevice, absence of medical facilities at the project site, not providing noise monitoring data, not providing details of thegreen belt, non-construction of basement for parking and failure to obtain a Consent from the Central Ground Water Board for the extraction of ground water.

Disregard for Environmental norms

The report shows serious and consistent defaults in compliance of EC conditions and complete disregard for environmental norms.

  • As against requirement of two STPs, only one has been installed, creating environmental hazard. Water discharged from the STP is not as per norms.
  • Treated water was to be used for flushing and unused water was to be sent to the public sewer. This is not being done.
  • Ground water is being illegally extracted.
  • There is no provision of segregation of solid waste. Parking and green belt have not been provided and solid waste is not being properly handled.
  • Noise level monitoring data is not being maintained. STP waste water is being discharged into unknown land. Water harvesting pits are not clean.
  • Consent to Operate has not been renewed, apart from other defaults as noted in the above report. Action taken by the State PCB is not adequate.

Polluter Pays Applied in the matter

In Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors, the Hon’ble Supreme Court interpreted "Polluter Pays" principle by stating that the absolute liability for harm to the environment extends not only to compensate the victims of pollution but also the cost of restoring the environmental degradation. Remediation of the damaged environment is part of the process of "Sustainable Development" and as such polluter is liable to pay the cost to the individual sufferers as well as the cost of reversing the damaged ecology. The Precautionary Principle and the Polluter Pays Principle have been accepted as part of the law of the land. Measure of compensation must be correlated to the magnitude and capacity of the enterprise because such compensation must have a deterrent effect.

The matter is again listed for consideration on 02-03-2020.

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