Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

On July 26, the Na­tional Green Tri­bunal ( NGT) im­posed an en­vi­ron­men­tal com­pen­sa­tion charge of ` 15 crore on the Hu­man Care Char­i­ta­ble Med­i­cal Trust for be­gin­ning con­struc­tion of a hos­pi­tal in Dwarka with­out get­ting en­vi­ron­men­tal clear­ance from the au­thor­i­ties. On July 20, NGT or­dered the Ut­tar Pradesh gov­ern­ment to pro­vide potable wa­ter to vil­lages in six west­ern dis­tricts where ground­wa­ter is con­tam­i­nated with toxic el­e­ments. The court did so af­ter some chil­dren suf­fer­ing from var­i­ous wa­ter-borne dis­eases, com­plained about the prob­lem. On July 20, or­dered dereg­is­tra­tion of 15-year-old diesel ve­hi­cles within Delhi. It also ruled that such ve­hi­cles would not get a No Ob­jec­tion Cer­tifi­cate for ply­ing out­side the Delhi-NCR re­gion. On July 29, the Hi­machal Pradesh High Court di­rected the state's chief sec­re­tary to en­sure that a State Agri­cul­ture Com­mis­sion is con­sti­tuted, no­ti­fied and made func­tional within three months to fix the Min­i­mum Sup­port Price of crops at state level. On July 21, di­rected the state gov­ern­ment to file an af­fi­davit ex­plain­ing how it plans to dis­pose of over 3 mil­lion tonnes of coal ly­ing in the open for which roy­alty had not been ob­tained. On July 27, NGT di­rected Te­lan­gana's Chief Sec­re­tary and Di­rect Gen­eral of Po­lice to in­struct all District Col­lec­tors and Su­per­in­ten­dents of Po­lice to as­sist the Fish­eries De­part­ment in raid­ing lo­cal­i­ties sus­pected of il­le­gally farm­ing a banned fish species and tak­ing strict ac­tion against of­fend­ers. Ecol­o­gists have warned that the ex­otic African cat­fish could erad­i­cate lo­cal fish species if it es­caped into lo­cal wa­ter bod­ies.

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