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Apex court demands answer from eight states on Ganga pollution

New Delhi, Oct. 7 (PTI): The Supreme Court has issued notices to eight states and 122 municipalities, asking them why they have not erected oxidation ponds to treat waste water, taking serious note of the continued pollution of Ganga and its tributaries due to the direct discharge of sewage.

The notices were issued recently by a bench headed by Justice G.B. Pattanaik on an application moved by counsel Vijay Panjwani, appearing for the Central Pollution Control Board, seeking a direction to the respondents to maintain oxidation ponds for treatment of sewage as envisaged under the Ganga Action Plan. The states to which notices have been sent were Bihar and 19 of its municipalities, Jharkhand and seven municipalities, Haryana and eight municipalities, Madhya Pradesh and 16 municipalities, Rajasthan and 11 municipalities, Uttar Pradesh and 44 municipalities, Uttaranchal and two municipalities, and West Bengal and 15 municipalities.

Panjwani had contended that the pollution control board was filing the application in view of the serious pollution caused by the municipalities/ nagarpalikas by discharging untreated domestic wastes in rivers and water bodies.

He said these municipalities were periodically given funds for creating infrastructure to treat the domestic wastewater to prevent pollution of rivers and water bodies through the Ganga Action Plan patronised by the National River Conservation Directorate.

”The municipalities/Nagarpalikas, however, have been evading their statutory duties and responsibilities on one pretext or the other and as a matter of fact are totally evasive to the responsibility for the pollution control,” the pollution board said in its application.

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