The NGT bans construction activities near Mangalavanam bird sanctuary in Kerala, India

Date: 05 February 2019

The principal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned all construction activities in areas near Mangalavanam, a bird sanctuary popularly known as the ‘green lung of Kochi’. The NGT recognized that the area is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 as well as Environmental Protection Act, 1986.”

For more information: Ban on construction activities near Mangalavanam, The Hindu, Feb 04, 2019.

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Sterlite case: The Supreme Court puts aside the NGT order

Date: 18 February 2019

In an interim order the Supreme Court of India questioned the NGT’s judgement that reversed the TN government’s order directing closure of the Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi. The Supreme Court observed that the NGT is not a constitutional court and does not have the power to examine the validity of government orders. This is an interesting decision as it clarifies the power of NGT vis a vis constitutional courts such as High Courts and Supreme Court. For more information see:

Krishnadas Rajagopal, SC sets aside NGT order allowing reopening of Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi, The Hindu, February 18, 2019.

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Supreme Court orders forced eviction of more than one million tribal families from the forest land

Date: 21 February 2019

The Suprem Court said those families whose claims over traditional forestlands were rejected under the Forest Rights Act should be evicted before July 27 this year.

For more information, please visit:

Scroll staff, Supreme Court orders eviction of more than 10 lakh Adivasi and forest-dwelling families, February 20, 2019.

Nitin Sethi, Business Standards, February 20, 2019.

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A small fishing community from Gujarat, India wins the case against the World Bank in the US Supreme

Date: 05 March 2019

In a historic decision on Feb 27, 2019, the US Supreme Court decided that the multilateral development institutions such as the World Bank could be prosecuted in the American courts for the adverse impacts of their overseas projects on local communities, environment, and economy.  This particular case was filed by a small fishing community from the Gujarat coast affected by the World Bank funded ($450 millions) Tata-Mundra power project in Mundra, Kutch, Gujarat. This historic judgement removes the legal immunity claimed in entirety by the international organizations under the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA) passed by the US Senate in 1945.


The local communities and governments in the global South can now approach to the US courts for seeking environmental justice against the industrial and development projects funded by the multilateral and bilateral institutions led by the US government. It also creates moral pressure on OECD and EU countries, that control the institutions such as IMF, to follow the suit.

For more information see:

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People in Meghalaya are struggling to seek balance between livelihood and ecology

Date: 02 April 2019

While ordering a ban on the coal mining in Meghalaya, the NGT directed to set up the Meghalaya Environment Protection and Restoration Fund. The fund has received INR 433 crore (~USD 578 million) so far from mining industries but it has not been distributed to the victims.

For more information, Rahul Karmakar, In abode of the clouds, coal sparks livelihood versus ecology debate, The Hindu, March 2, 2019.

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MOEF’s data on the compliance of the environmental conditions are inadequate

Date: 02 April 2019

The NGT noted that the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), New Delhi has provided grossly inadequate data on monitoring of conditions stipulated in the environment clearance granted to various industrial or infrastructure development projects. The data reported by the MoEF merely provides figures of the projects monitored, without mentioning the extent of defaults found and further actions taken. The NGT ordered the MoEF to present all relevant data on April 29 in the court. The MoEF claims its efficiency in terms of processing EIA applications submitted by the private sector but when it comes to monitoring of the compliance of various environmental conditions, the MoEF does not show the same efficiency, enthusiasm, and commitment.

For more information: The NGT pulls up Ministry for not furnishing proper data, The Hindu, March 19, 2019.

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India is planning to use Natural Resource Accounting tools for environmental assessment

Date: 04 February 2020

The 35th meeting of the Government Accounting Standards Advisory Board (GASAB) has discussed the “Natural Resource Accounting (NRA)” as a promising tool for environmental impact assessment of projects in which usage of resources is envisaged.

For more information: Natural Resource Accounting is a tool, The Hindu, Feb 04, 2020.

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Karwar fishers bring stay order on the port exansion

Date: 24 January 2020

The High Court of Karnataka not only directed the State government to stop, until further orders, all construction activities related to the development of commercial Karwar port at Baithkol village in Uttara Kannada district under the Sagar Mala project, but also asked it to restore the beach, which was levelled to reach the proposed area for constructing a breakwater, to its original condition.

For more details: Stop expansion work on commercial Karwar port: HC, The Hindu, January 24, 2020

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