NGT forms committee for rejuvenation of Ganga tributaries in Varanasi

Confluence of Varuna and Ganges rivers at Varanas. File   | Photo Credit: AARTI DHAR

The National Green Tribunal on Friday formed a committee for rejuvenation of Varuna and Assi rivers in Varanasi which join Ganga after taking note of a plea alleging discharge of untreated sewage and unauthorised constructions.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel constituted an independent Monitoring Committee for the purpose comprising members from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), State Pollution Control Board, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and District Magistrate, Varanasi.

“The Committee may meet within two weeks and review the action plan on the subject in the light of the pre-existing action plans, if any, with such modifications as may be necessary. The Committee will be at liberty to take assistance of any other expert/institution, including an agency dealing in rejuvenating works. It may undertake field visit, including sample collection and analysis as required,” the bench said.

Based on the report of the Committee, the NMCG may give an action taken report in the matter before August 4, the next date of hearing.

"The report may cover status on water quality of Assi, Varuna, action taken on diversion and treatment of sewage, water quality of upstream and downstream of confluence of Assi and Varuna to River Ganga, demarcation of Flood Plain Zones of Assi, Varuna and Ganga (in the said area), in accordance with the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016," the NGT said.

The action taken report may be furnished by e-mail, the tribunal said .

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Saurabh Tiwari against pollution of rivers Varuna and Assi in Varanasi by discharge of untreated sewage and unauthorised constructions.

The plea said that Varuna and Assi rivers are tributaries of Ganga and cleaning of river Ganga cannot be imagined without first ensuring prevention of pollution of these two rivers.

The pollution of the said rivers is subject matter of various media reports and water quality of river Ganga at Varanasi is in bad condition, the plea said. “Fecal coliform bacteria count at Varun-Ganga confluence is 71 million per 100ML of water (Ganga Jal) and fecal coliform count at Assi River and Ganga confluence is 52 Million per 100ML of water and on Assi Ghat fecal coliform is 1 lakh 40 thousand per 100ML of Ganga Jal. “Permissible limit of fecal coliform bacteria should not exceed 500 per 100ML of water. Reference has been made to a report on water quality prepared by Sankat Mochan Foundation in Varanasi,” the plea said.

The petitioner further stated that there is concrete construction inside Ganga water channel at Lalita Ghat.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 7:51:01 PM |

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