Complete projects to curb Ganga pollution: NGT

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday came down heavily on authorities for failing to curb pollution in Ganga river and directed completion of all projects related to sewage treatment by June 30 next year.

A Bench headed by NGT chief Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “There is no information on water quality of river Ganga in the stretch falling in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. The reports from the States other than Uttarakhand do not describe the number of drains and a plan for their interception and diversion to the sewage treatment plants.”

Directing authorities to demarcate flood plains and prevent encroachment, the Bench said, “Timely completion of all projects relating to sewage treatment be ensured, that is by June 30, 2020, in respect of ongoing projects and by December 31, 2020 in respect of others failing which compensation has to be paid apart from action against the erring officers.”

“Till then, to avoid untreated sewage being discharged directly into the Ganga, interim remedial measures have to be adopted and for the default after November 1, 2019, compensation has to be deposited,” the Bench added.

The green panel also directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to assess the compensation to be levied on respective States, within one month, and recover the same.

Earlier, the Tribunal had pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government for failing to curb sewage discharge containing toxic chromium into the river and imposed a penalty of ₹280 crore on 22 tanneries for causing pollution.

Following two reports filed by an NGT-appointed committee, the Bench observed, “The report is self-speaking and paints a grim picture of failure of authorities in taking remedial measures forcing the inhabitants to drink polluted water which is a serious hazard to health.”

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 1:08:35 AM |

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