Environmental Law Update-2016
- EIA of NOIDA Metro Rail Corporation: In Vikrant Tongad vs. NOIDA Metro Rail Corporation [NGT (Principal Bench O.A 478 of 2015)] the issue raised in this matter was regarding construction of metro line from Noida to Greater Noida-that the project has commenced without necessary environmental clearance. The Tribunal came at following points in its judgment:
- It is necessary to deliberate on the issue at greater length in view of the judgment of the tribunal in Vikrant Tongad vs. Delhi Tourism and Transport Corporation. [2015 All (I) NGT Reporter (I) PB 244] wherein similar contention was raised about signature bridge over River Yamuna at Wazirabad which was not covered under 2006 Notification hence no environmental clearance required. However, the Tribunal held that the project falls under Entry 8 (b) of the legislation, therefore the project proponent was required to take environmental clearance.
- The right to environment being akin to right to life within the meaning of article 21 that adherence to environmental laws is mandatory.
- In conflict between environmental interest and economic interest former would prevail and precautionary principle would be given due weight.
- The apex courts have evoked the rule of purposive construction in relation to social welfare legislations. The para below is relevant in this regard-
- Environmental impact is environmental effect defined as natural or artificial disturbance of the physical, chemical or biological components that make up environment. Such activities may take form of mining, oil and gas exploration etc. It was first introduced in USA in the year 1969. EIA does not alone confine itself to projects but to general policies and legislations as well.
- 2006 Notification has been adjudged as social welfare legislations.
- Order granting EIA would be specific in terms of remedial as well as precautionary measures that are required to be taken by project proponent.
- For work already executed by the project proponents, which has caused loss to the environment, ecology and nature, then SEIAA would be within its right to demolish such project.
- The purpose of notification 2006 is not to prohibit development process but to permit the same while protecting the environment and ecology.
- The project under this matter is covered under 2006 Notification, therefore environmental clearance would be required.
2. Paris Agreement (2015)
Role of cities, regions and local authorities
The agreement recognizes the role of non-Party stakeholders in addressing climate change, including cities, other subnational authorities, civil society, the private sector and others.
- The EU and other developed countries will continue to support climate action to reduce emissions and build resilience to climate change impacts in developing countries.
- Other countries are encouraged to provide or continue to provide such support voluntarily.
- Developed countries intend to continue their existing collective goal to mobilize USD 100 billion per year by 2020 and extend this until 2025. A new and higher goal will be set for after this period.