Chennai

Duty of TN government to protect water bodies, National Green Tribunal says

A view of the Adyar river over Saidapet bridge. Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: RAGHUNATHAN SR

It is the duty of the State government to ensure that regular maintenance work is carried out in rivers and that the flow of the rivers is not obstructed by any natural cause -- weeds and hyacinths, the southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) said.

The State is also expected to keep the Adyar river in conformity with the standard provided for river water so that aquatic life can have sufficient oxygen etc., the bench said. If there was any laxity on the part of the regulators in carrying out such activities, it would adversely affect the environment, especially riverine environment ecology and aquatic life. including flora and fauna, the bench said.

The bench made these observations in a case related to the illegal discharge of sewage into the Adyar river at Saidapet. The bench came down heavily on the Public Works Department and other government departments for not filing a report on the status of the river as mandated by it. The bench also noted that the joint committee formed by it too, had not submitted its report.

“The fact that in spite of one year being over, the report has not been submitted, which shows the lethargic attitude on the part of the regulators as well as the government departments in carrying out the directions of this Tribunal and also protecting the environment,” the bench said.

The State government departments sought some more time to file their reports. While allowing time for them to submit their reports, the bench said, “If they did not submit the report, then they will have to face the consequences for non compliance of the directions as contemplated under Section 25 and 28 of the National Green Tribunal, 2010. If the report is not filed by the committee members, then the members of the committee are directed to appear before this Tribunal through video conference on the next hearing date to show cause as to why action should not be taken against them for non compliance of the direction.”

The Tribunal directed the joint committee to further ascertain the current status of the river based on a recent media report and submit its findings. All the departments have been directed to file their reports before August 25.


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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 10:22:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/duty-of-tn-government-to-protect-water-bodies-national-green-tribunal-says/article35556054.ece

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