U.P. officials fined for not replying to NGT notice on river pollution

The district magistrates and five Senior Superintendents of Police in western Uttar Pradesh have been fined by the National Green Tribunal for their repeated failure to reply to its notice on polluted rivers causing cancer among villagers.

The officials of Meerut, Saharanpur, Shamli, Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat have been fined Rs. 5000, and the sum will be deducted from their salaries and deposited in the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

The NGT had taken suo motu cognisance of a report that appeared in The Hindu in November on the polluted waters of the Kali, Krishna and Hindon rivers having contaminated the groundwater of the villages on their banks. Drinking of the groundwater caused bone deformities among several villagers, and some of them had died of cancer.

On November 19 last, the NGT issued notice to the State Chief Secretary, the Union Ministries of Health, Environment and Forests, the Central Pollution Control Board and the State Pollution Control Board, and also the DMs and SSPs of these districts.

Chandraveer Singh, a former senior scientist of the Haryana Pollution Control Board, says independent studies have shown the waters of these three rivers have become poisonous from untreated effluents released from paper mills and slaughterhouses. “Villagers in the western Uttar Pradesh districts of Baghpat, Saharanpur, Meerut and Muzaffarnagar are suffering from cancer, deformities, hepatitis and several other grave diseases after consuming the groundwater, which has been contaminated by water seeping from these polluted rivers. Hundreds of people have died of cancer and other grave diseases in the region,” says Dr. Singh, who heads Doaba Paryavaran Samiti, an NGO working in the western Uttar Pradesh, which also moved the NGT over the cancer deaths.

Importantly, the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board is yet to file its reply to the NGT on the issue of contamination in the Kali, Krishna and Hindon rivers.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 1:26:22 AM |

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