Ganga pollution rap on Uttar Pradesh government
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has come down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh government over the discharge of untreated sewage in rivers joining the Ganga and said there was no indication how the “crime of pollution” was to be prevented by the state.
Terming the situation extremely “unsatisfactory”, a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said remedial action needed to be taken for the contamination of Ramgarh lake as also the Ami, Rapti and Rohani rivers in and around Gorakhpur.
Perusing a report filed by a committee, the green panel said there was large-scale non-compliance by the authorities concerned in the discharge of their public duties.
“It is high time that periodically the chief secretary personally reviews the matter to ensure compliance of directions of the Supreme Court requiring preventing the discharge of untreated sewage and trade effluents, solid waste management and rejuvenation of the Ganga,” the tribunal said.
The NGT directed the state chief secretary to oversee the execution of river rejuvenation plans for the Ami, Rapti, Rohani, Saryu and the Ghagra and fix the timelines for rejuvenation of different components with necessary budgetary support and designation of the authorities/officers responsible for it.
“Such projects cannot be delayed on the pretext of funding by the National Mission for Clean Ganga in view of the fact that preventing discharge of pollutants in the Ganga or other water bodies is a criminal offence under the Water Act and even authorities are liable to be prosecuted for such offences…,” the bench said.