Terming a sugar mill and distillery in Ghaziabad “serious polluter” churning out tonnes of untreated sulphurous effluent in the Ganga, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday directed the Centre, the Uttar Pradesh Government and the National Ganga River Basin Authority to hold a meeting within a week to work out modalities and a time-bound action plan for checking, preventing and controlling the pollution.

“It cannot be disputed that Simbhaoli Sugar Mills and Distillery-Simbhaoli Spirits Ltd. are serious polluters and in the event now if effective steps are not taken to curb the pollution, we will be compelled to pass certain coercive orders in accordance with law,” a bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar said.

The NGT passed the order after perusing an inspection note prepared by its expert members on the issue of Simbhaoli Sugar mills discharging untreated effluents in the Ganga.

The Tribunal also directed the Central Pollution Control Board, the Ministry of Water Resources, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board and Simbhaoli Sugar Mills to chalk out a plan to curb pollution it has been causing in the Ganga.

The Tribunal’s order came on a petition filed by an Uttar Pradesh resident Krishan Kant Singh and an NGO Social Action for Forest & Environment (SAFE) headed by environment activist Vikrant Tongad.

The petition said: “The Simbhaoli Sugars Mill is discharging untreated waste into a drain originating just outside the premise of sugar mill complex. The drain is also known as Simbhaoli drain and is polluting the nearby areas and contaminating the ground water of the villages from where this drain is passing by.”

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