Green tribunal notice to Delhi Metro, AIIMS for not harvesting rainwater

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi Jal Board, Forest and the Irrigation Department and the Central Public Works Department on Wednesday faced the wrath of the National Green Tribunal for failing to set up rainwater harvesting systems.

The NGT Bench headed by Chairperson Swatanter Kumar issued show cause notices to the DMRC, AIIMS, DJB, Batra Hospital, Saket City Hospital, NDMC, CPWD, Forest Department and Irrigation asking them why “they be not ordered and directed to pay compensation varying from Rs.5 to 10 lakh for not harvesting rainwater, polluting the environment and not discharging their duties in relation to environment and maintaining the wholesomeness of water on the basis of “Polluter pays” principle depending upon their activity”.

It also asked why punitive action against them and their senior most officers not be taken for failing to comply with the earlier orders of the Tribunal on a petition filed by Vikrant Kumar Tongad to put a rainwater harvesting system in place and see that it is functioning properly.

Mr. Tongad had in his petition said that the DMRC can harvest up to 87.3 million litres water annually by installing harvesting systems at metro stations and for the tracks.

The NGT passed the order after perusing an inspection report furnished by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee on the functioning of rainwater harvesting systems installed by these authorities. The report pointed various faults and stated that in hospitals like AIIMS the harvested rainwater is getting mixed with bio-medical waste, creating more pollution hazard or is simply not getting collected and is rather percolating.

Dumping sites

“It has been pointed out in the report that the rain harvesting systems are non-functional and at a number of places they have been found to be used as dumping sites. It is also pointed out that even the hospitals are not maintaining them in proper functional state and the same are being used for purposes which are bound to result into serious pollution besides being rendered of no consequences as far as recharging the ground water is concerned,” the Tribunal noted.

Lambasting the hospitals and DMRC, the Bench also sought to know as to “why appropriate direction as contemplated under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and Section 33 (a) of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, not be issued against all these authorities.”

The Bench also directed all municipal corporations, including the NDMC, to file an affidavit within three weeks stating how many rainwater harvesting systems have been installed by them since 2010 and their location.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 12:23:57 AM |

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