Tamil Nadu

Protecting waterbodies is the duty of State govt., says NGT

Lack of maintenance: The case pertains to the illegal discharge of sewage into Adyar river in Saidapet.  

It is the duty of the State government to ensure that regular maintenance works are carried out in rivers, and that their flow is not obstructed by any natural cause, the Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal 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, the Bench said. If there is any laxity on the part of regulators in carrying out such activities, it will adversely affect the environment, especially the 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 Adyar river at Saidapet. It 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 a joint committee formed by it had not submitted its report.

“The fact that in spite of being given a year, the report has not been submitted, 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 protecting the environment,” the Bench said.

The departments sought some more time to file their reports. While giving them time to submit the reports, the Bench said, “If they do not submit the report, then they will have to face consequences for non-compliance with the directions, as contemplated under sections 25 and 28 of the National Green Tribunal, 2010. If the report is not filed by the committee members, then they 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 with 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 departments have been directed to file their reports before August 25.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 4:43:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/protecting-waterbodies-is-the-duty-of-state-govt-says-ngt/article35573773.ece

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