NGT asks UP to reply to show cause notice on Discharge of sewage into Ganga

The National Green Tribunal has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to reply within a week why environmental compensation should not be slapped on it for its “intentional” non-compliance of statutory obligations regarding discharge of untreated sewage water into the Ganga.

A bench headed by acting Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim noted that despite its December 2016 order, the parties have not filed their replies.

“Member Secretary of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), Commissioner and Executive Officers, Mayor, Chairman and Head of the municipality and the concerned Secretary of UP to show cause why they be not directed to pay environmental compensation for non-compliance of the directions issue to them earlier.

“Further to show cause why the tribunal should not direct prosecution of all these respondents in accordance with the law,” the bench said while posting the matter for May 16.

While issuing a show cause notice to the state government, the NGT had earlier said “environment and public health does not fall in its priority list” as it was “undisputed” that no action was taken by the UPPCB and municipal bodies to prepare an action plan on cleaning the river.

The UPPCB and municipal bodies of Mirzapur, Chunar, Bhadohi, Fatehpur, and Hastinapur were issued show cause notices asking why environmental compensation should not be imposed on them as they had failed to prepare the plan despite directions issued by the Central Pollution Control Board.

“At this stage, we are satisfied that non-compliance to the directions contained in the order dated October 9, 2015 is intentional and without any sufficient cause. Furthermore, the non-compliance is a matter which has to be viewed seriously. Nothing prevented the respondents – authorities, corporations and bodies to approach the CPCB and put forward their difficulties, if any, and get the same resolved.

“It appears that environment and public health does not fall on priority list of all these respondents. Consequently, we issue notice to show cause to the Member Secretary of UPPCB, Commissioner and Executive Officers, Mayor, Chairman and head of the municipality respondents and Secretary of Uttar Pradesh to show cause why they be not directed to pay environmental compensation for non-compliance of the directions,” the bench had said.

The NGT was hearing a plea of the CPCB seeking directions to the UPPCB and the CEOs of these five municipal councils to “prepare a plan of action to clean river Ganga and water bodies, ground water and soil in a time-bound manner and recover the cost of preparation and execution of such plan of action from the polluters”.

Advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for the CPCB, had said the respondents (UPPCB and five municipal councils) had failed to provide adequate sewage network and install sewage treatment plants for effective treatment of sewage discharged into the river.

NGT directs Centre to submit report on steps to clean Ganga

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh and the Uttarakhand governments to file affidavits stating what steps they have taken to comply with its directions to clean the Ganga in the stretch between Gomukh and Unnao.

The green panel, in a detailed judgement, had passed a slew of directions to rejuvenate Ganga, declaring as ‘No Development Zone’ an area of 100 metres from the edge of the river between Haridwar and Unnao and prohibiting dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also asked all the stakeholders to state what course of action they propose to take in relation to Phase-2 from Kanpur to the UP border.

“We make it clear that in the event now the compliance is not made, to the directions of the tribunal, we will be compelled to pass coercive orders. Let copy of this order be provided to the chief secretaries of UP and Uttarakhand.

“All the counsels appearing for their respective clients will inform these directions to them. Copy of this order, also, be sent to DG of National Mission for Clean Ganga; Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources and Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for compliance,” the bench said.

The matter is listed for next hearing on October 24.

The tribunal had earlier, in a detailed judgement, said the government has spent over Rs 7,000 crore in two years to clean the Ganga which still remains a “serious environmental issue”.

The order, running into 543 pages, said “till the demarcation of floodplains and identification of permissible and non-permissible activities by the state government of this judgement, we direct that 100 metres from the edge of the river would be treated as no development/construction zone between Haridwar to Unnao in UP.”

‘No-development zones’ are areas where no construction including commercial or residential buildings can come up.

It also imposed a complete prohibition on disposal of municipal solid waste, e-waste or bio-medical waste on the floodplains or into the river and its tributaries.

The tribunal reiterated its earlier order of ban on mechanical mining in Ganga and said “no in-stream mechanical mining is permitted and even the mining on the flood plain should be semi-mechanical and preferably more manual.

Sadhus refuse to take holy dip in Ganga due to pollution

Sadhus from several ashrams refused to take a holy bath in Ganga on the occassion of Vijayadashmi near Shukertal area here allegedly after finding the water to be polluted.

Several sadhus yesterday alleged that the river water had turned black due to the discharge of waste by factories.

Sub Divisional Magistrate (Jansath) Shyavadh Chouhan said he has asked for a sample of polluted water to initiate action.

Ganga: Panel set up to probe UP project submits report in NGT

Ganga: Panel set up to probe UP project submits report in NGT
Ganga: Panel set up to probe UP project submits report in NGT

A committee set up by the National Green Tribunal to inspect the status of two sewage treatment plants (STP) in Garhmukteshwar in western Uttar Pradesh, today submitted its report to the green panel.

The committee submitted its report before a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar which asked advocate Ritwick Dutta, appointed as local commisioner, to file the detailed report in the NGT Registry.

The green panel asked all the parties and stakeholders in the case to file their responses on the report which highlights the actual pollution load on the Garh drain and Brijghat drain, besides the status of the STPs.

Besides the local commissioner, the committee also comprised Director from Ministry of Water Resources and a scientist from the Central Pollution Control Board.

The bench the posted the matter for next hearing on February 23.

Earlier the bench had ordered a CBI probe into the execution of the Ganga cleaning project after it noted that Rs 31.82 crore was spent on two STPs and a 58-km long sewerage line project without due analysis and verification of the actual pollution load in the Garh drain and Brijghat drain.

NGT had slammed the state’s Jal Nigam for building the STP on the drains joining Ganga without any survey and said it had wasted Rs 1500 crore since 1987 and still not cleaned “even a single drop” of the river.

( Source – PTI )

Nobody wants to do anything: NGT on Ganga

Nobody wants to do anything: NGT on Ganga
Nobody wants to do anything: NGT on Ganga

Irked by the lackadaisical approach of authorities concerned in dealing with the issues concerning pollution in river Ganga, the National Green Tribunal today observed that “nobody wants to do anything” on these aspects.

“There is no use of calling meetings. We have got nothing from anybody about phase two (of cleaning of river Ganga),” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said, adding, “The problem is that nobody wants to do anything.”

The bench observed this while saying it has not received the reports about quality of water in Ganga inUttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

It, however, fixed the matter for hearing on May 20.

On April 5, the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board had informed the tribunal that it has identified 1,070 seriously polluting industries from Haridwar to Kanpurwhich discharge 219.18 million litres per day of effluents in Ganga.

The NGT had earlier ordered the UP Pollution Control Board to put on its website the list of these seriously polluting units and had directed the Environment Ministry to clarify the process of identifying seriously and grossly polluting industrial units in public domain.

The tribunal on December 23, 2015 had held a meeting of stakeholders including chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand besides other senior officers from both the states.

The green panel had divided the cleaning work of Ganga into different segments — Gomukh to Haridwar, Haridwar to Kanpur, Kanpur to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to Bay of Bengal.

On December 11, last year, the tribunal had imposed a complete ban on use of plastic of any kind from Gomukh to Haridwar along the Ganga with effect from February 1 while slapping a penalty of Rs 5,000 per day on erring hotels, dharamshalas and ashrams spewing waste into the river.

( Source – PTI )

Ganga: NGT new panel to look into polluting units

Ganga: NGT new panel to look into polluting units
Ganga: NGT new panel to look into polluting units

The National Green Tribunal has set up a committee to look into the grossly polluting industries located along the banks of Ganga and inform it about the quantum of sewage discharged by them in the river.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar constituted the panel comprising member secretary of Central Pollution Control Board, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board, CEO of UP Jal Nigam, Director of Environment Ministry and a professor from IIT-Roorkee.

“The committee shall submit report on actual effluent discharge from each drain that joins Ganga and measure load on points where Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) are sought to be constructed under Phase-I B of the judgement (Haridwar to Kanpur),” the bench said while warning that if the directions are not complied with, it would impose heavy costs.

The green panel also asked the UP pollution control board to inform it about the industrial units of tannery, paper and pulp, textile, located along the banks of Ganga, to submit their stand before it.

It asked the committee to look into the issue of dead bodies of humans and animals being dumped into the river and submit its report within three weeks.

The green panel has divided the work of cleaning the river into different segments — Gomukh to Haridwar, Haridwar to Kanpur, Kanpur to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to Bay of Bengal.

On December 11, last year, the tribunal had imposed a complete ban on use of plastic of any kind from Gomukh to Haridwar along the river from February 1 and decided to slap a penalty of Rs 5,000 per day on erring hotels, dharamshalas and ashrams spewing waste into the river.

NGT slams Centre, UP govt over pollution in Ganga

NGT slams Centre, UP govt over pollution in Ganga
NGT slams Centre, UP govt over pollution in Ganga

The National Green Tribunal on Monday slammed the Centre and UP government over pollution in river Ganga in Varanasi and said their slogans are contrary to actions.

“It is really very unfortunate that such things are going on. Why don’t you do something about this? Your slogans are very contrary to your actions,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar said.

The green panel pulled up the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Water Resources and UP government while asking them to look into the matter and deal with it expeditiously.

The observation came after advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal mentioned before the bench that bodies of humans and animals were being dumped in river Ganga and the authorities were allegedly not taking any action on the same.

On January 15, the bench had directed Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand government to identify seriously polluting industries located on the banks of Ganga and apprise it about “quantity and quality” of discharge generated by them in the river.

The green panel had also ordered a joint inspection by a team comprising officials from Central Pollution Control Board, UPPCB, UPCB and a representative from Environment Ministry at points where tributaries of river Ganga from Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh meet the Ganga.

Earlier, the Tribunal had directed the Centre not to release funds for cleaning the river from Gomukh to Kanpur without its nod, chiding the two states for failing to identify the seriously polluting locations.

( Source – PTI )