‘Appeal against any order of NGT is not maintainable’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 Aug 2017 10:17:11


Staff Reporter,

RAIPUR,

Aug 30,

Hearing the Writ Petition (22702 of 2017) on Wednesday, the Kolkata High Court remarked that appeal against any order of the National Green Tribunal is not maintainable before it as the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 under Section 22 has exclusive provision for preferring an appeal against any award, order or decision of the Tribunal before the Supreme Court.

The State of Chhattishgarh tried to make out a case that the pending application before the National Green Tribunal is nothing, but a water sharing dispute camouflaged in form of an environmental dispute. However, the Kolkata High Court did not accept the submission and suo moto took the view that the writ petition is not maintainable.

State of Chhattisgarh preferred an Writ Petition challenging the order dated July 26, 2017 passed by the National Green Tribunal, Eastern Zone Bench at Kolkata where the Tribunal is currently adjudicating on an original application raising concerns relating to impact on environment, ecology, biodiversity and on the downstream population of State of Odisha who are depended on Mahanadi river arising out of
barrage construction and water sourcing from Mahanadi river for large scale industrial use in the upper catchment of river Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh.

The Tribunal on July 26, 2017, had observed from the affidavit filed by State-level Environment Impact Assessment, Chhattisgarh that a number of projects (barrage projects/irrigation schemes/water diversion schemes) has received environment clearance from the State-level Environment Impact Assessment, Chhattisgarh but has not yet been commissioned. Hence the National Green Tribunal observed that since the matter is pending before them they would expect that Chhattisgarh should not execute such projects till the matter is subjudice before them.

Chhattishgarh challenged this particular order in Kolkata High Court. While hearing the case on Wednesday, the Division Bench of Kolkata High Court comprising of Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty held that appeal against any order of the National Green Tribunal is not maintainable. The Bench asked the Petitioner (State of Chhattisgarh) to withdraw the matter or the bench will pass order of non maintainability.

Later, Chhattisgarh requested the High Court for adjournment. Accordingly the Division Bench passed an order of adjournment specifying that the pendency of the petition should not affect the on going proceedings before the National Green Tribunal. The matter has been adjourned till November 2, 2017 on specific request of Chhattisgarh. Meanwhile, the Bench gave the Respondents the liberty to file replies if they wish to do so although such is not asked by them.

It is worth mentioning that the National Green Tribunal, Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata, by an order issued on July 26, 2017, had directed the Chhattisgarh government not to initiate construction works on all such projects over River Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh, where construction works are yet to begin. The order was issued by Justice S P Wangdi, Judicial Member and Prof (Dr) P C Mishra, Expert Member, NGT Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata, while hearing the petition filed by Sudarshan Das, Convener of Agami Odisha, a social organization. The NGT Eastern Zone Bench in its order stated “since the entire matter is in seisin (legal possession) by us, we expect the State of Chhatishgarh not to proceed with those projects which have not yet been taken up for execution.” It further listed the issue for next hearing on August 28 on the question of interim order.

Meanwhile, in a communiqué issued by the state government, it has clarified that out of 58 total numbers of projects, 51 are under construction. The NGT Eastern Zone has ordered not to start construction on projects which are yet to begin till next hearing.

 

NGT Surveillance Committee takes stock of cleanliness in Raipur

The committee, which has been formed on the directive of National Green Tribunal’s Central Zonal Bench, Bhopal, for reporting on cleanliness arrangements in Raipur city, inspected on Wednesday different localities in State capital. 

The localities inspected were Moudhapara, Jawahar Nagar, behind Gujrati School, Cloth Market and Moudhapara canal ward. Earlier, a complaint was filed over the cleanliness in Raipur city including the trenching grounds at Sarona and Sakri. This case numbered as 43/2016 as Nitin Singhvi v/s Raipur Municipal Corporation. In course of hearing on July 4 this year, the municipal corporation told the NGT that all necessary steps were taken for cleanliness in Raipur.

The NGT then directed the complainant Singhvi to forward names of three enlightened citizens or retired officers to the municipal corporation for forming a committee. As per the directives, this committee will inspect the cleanliness arrangements every fifteen days in the city and in the first week of every month, will submit report at NGT for next twelve months. The NGT ordered that additional commissioner of the municipal corporation would accompany the committee and also that the municipal commissioner would extend full cooperation in this regard.The complainant Singhvi forwarded the names of Dr Vinay Bathia, retired deputy director, health services, Dr Sunanda Dhenge, forensic expert and social worker Inderjit Singh Chabra, Mowa , Raipur for the committee. 

The municipal commissioner has released an official order regarding the formation of the committee. On every 15th and 30th day of every month, the committee will inspect the wards in the city and send report directly to NGT. Along with the committee Deputy Commissioner Tikaria and Malwe from the municipal corporation inspected different wards today.