Is Gurugram pollution responsible for fish deaths in Najafgarh drain? NGT seeks report

The National Green Tribunal has said it needs to be ascertained whether pollution in Haryana’s Gurugram is responsible for the recent mass deaths of fish in the Najafgarh drain in Delhi and sought a factual and action taken report from a joint panel of pollution control officials and District Magistrate on the issue.

The observation came while NGT chairperson Justice (retd) Adarsh Kumar Goel was dealing with a plea against pollution of Najafgarh drain and Sahibi River, which flows over 300 km long from Aravalli hills in Rajasthan to Haryana and finally reaches the Yamuna in the national capital.

In the order, the tribunal said it has considered the media reports that pollution could be to blame for the fish deaths in the Najafgarh drain. On July 11, NGT sought a report from a joint Committee in this regard. “…However, it may need to be ascertained whether Gurgaon pollution is responsible for the situation…,” the recently passed order stated.

“Since in the present case, the issue raised is of pollution at Gurugram which has been a subject matter of earlier consideration and directions, we direct a joint Committee of CPCB, State PCB, Commissioner Municipal Corporation, Gurugram and District Magistrate, Gurugram to furnish a factual and action taken report giving updated factual status of disposal of sewage and trade effluents in the Najafgarh drain before its entry in Delhi within one month…” it further stated.

As per the petition, the Sahibi River originates from Sewer hills in Jaipur district and is a seasonal stream with irregular water supply. It gets converted to Najafgarh drain in Delhi. However, after 1977 floods, Sahibi River is not entering Najafgarh drain but Gurugram sewage and industrial waste is being discharged in the said drain, it claimed.

Referring to an earlier tribunal order dated January 21, 2022, the plea pointed out that the green court directed Haryana and NCT of Delhi to prepare an Environment Management Plan (EMP) to prevent pollution of Najafgarh lake which was a transboundary water body partly in Delhi, partly in Haryana.

Apart from this, the pollution control of Najafgarh drain is also connected to Yamuna river as it finally joins Yamuna, the petitioner said referring to another order related to rejuvenation of Yamuna.

The issue has also been considered in an order on April 19, in which the status of water pollution in Gurugram has been noted. It was found that there is a gap of 86 MLD (million litres per day) in generation and treatment of sewage and about 218 MLD of sewage through three STPs(sewage treatment plant) is being discharged into Najafgarh drain. Directions in these matters also need to be complied in the interest of environment and public health, the plea submitted.

It further directed the report to mention sources of discharges into drain, quantity of sewage being discharged and the performance of STPs.

Further consideration of the matter will be on September 12.

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