Green tribunal pulls up authorities over ‘failure of constitutional obligation’

Following a plea seeking remedial action against discharge of untreated sewage into an irrigation canal in Noida, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) pulled up authorities over “failure of constitutional obligation”. It observed that the officers responsible should be held accountable.

Taking note of a report earlier submitted by authorities, an NGT Bench headed by Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said: “Unfortunately, not a single person is shown to have been prosecuted in spite of categorical observations in the reports of statutory regulators. There is no dearth of statutory powers of Noida Authority, District Magistrates, SEIAA, Uttar Pradesh and State Pollution Control Boards as well as Uttar Pradesh Police.”

The Bench said: “The said authorities have failed to realise that they are occupying the position of high trust and are meant to protect the public health and environment and not to just enjoy position and perks at the cost of miseries of innocent citizens...Sufferers are helpless citizens...”

The green panel has also directed officials of the district administration and Noida Authority to take coercive action against violators.

“Action should include accountability of the erring officers, preventing discharge of pollution in th drain, coercive measures against violators – housing societies or others by registering criminal cases, initiating prosecution, assessment and recovery of compensation for the past violations, black listing of the concerned entities such as construction companies, in exercise of their statutory powers following due process of law,” the Bench said.

CPCB told to file report

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was also directed to file a separate report on standards applicable to discharge drains or canals and whether standards of freshwater or flood water applied to such situation in the light of relevant environmental norms.

The directions came when the green panel was hearing a plea moved by petitioner Abhisht Kusum Gupta who alleged that untreated sewage was being discharged into the canal by deficient sewage treatment plants in 95 high rise buildings in Noida, industries as well as wastewater from upstream from Delhi and Ghaziabad.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 8:04:49 PM |

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