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Court order on Hooghly pollution

A host of agencies and industrial units will have to tell the high court what they have done to reduce pollution in the Hooghly in compliance with an environment department order issued last September.

The bench headed by Chief Justice S.S. Nijjar on Wednesday asked 42 municipalities and industrial units on the banks of the river, Calcutta Port Trust, Central Inland Water Transport Authority and all nodal agencies involved with the Ganga Action Plan to file affidavits within two weeks stating their role in saving the river.

The state pollution control board was asked to state what action had been taken against the violators, if any.

On September 3 last year, the environment department had issued an order asking civic bodies not to discharge untreated waste water beyond a limit into the river, remove encroachments from the banks and prevent use of plastic bags up to 50 metres from the high tide line.

The order — signed by M.L. Meena, the environment secretary — also asked the port trust to clear debris from the banks and remove encroachments from areas under its control.

The Central Inland Water Transport Authority was directed to ensure that ships and barges did not pollute the Hooghly and the state green board was to prevent industrial units from discharging effluent or solid waste into the river.

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