The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued bailable warrants against Environment Secretary of Uttarakhand government and other senior officials, including district magistrate of Nainital, for their failure to comply with its directions passed earlier.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar slammed the Uttarakhand government observing that it needs to show “greater seriousness and carry out orders of the tribunal with sincerity and effectiveness”.
The tribunal had on December 10 last year passed a slew of directions, including constitution of a committee to submit a comprehensive action plan on the issue of pollution of river Kosi in Nainital due to discharge of sewage, waste water and domestic effluents.
While issuing bailable warrants, the bench noted that the committee was directed to file a report within three months but neither any report was filed nor anybody appeared before it on behalf of the panel or Uttarakhand government.
“Execution of the orders of the tribunal is essence of environmental justice and the person, particularly authorities who do not carry out the directions not only are liable for disobedience but are also responsible for causing pollution and degradation of environment and ecology of the area,” the bench said.
“As there is no compliance of the orders passed by the tribunal, consequently, we issue bailable warrants against Secretary of Environment, State of Uttarakhand, CEO of Pay Jal Nigam and Pay Jal Sansthan, District Magistrate (Nainital) and Member Secretary of Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board in the sum of Rs 10,000 each to the satisfaction of the arresting officer….,” it said and posted the matter for July 4.
The green panel said the issue relates to a serious matter of dealing with sewage that was generated in various towns and one of the fundamental source of pollution of river Ganga was discharge of untreated sewage into it.
“If this is the attitude which the state of Uttarakhand proposes to deal with the matters of such serious source of environment, much need to be said as well as appropriate actions are required to be taken against the concerned authorities, since the records are necessary to be produced,” it said.
The bench also said these officials would also “show cause as to why costs for adjournments of the cases be not imposed personally upon the above officers and recovered from their salaries.
( Source – PTI )