Progress in preventing sewage, trade effluents into Ganga not on expected lines: NGT

The National Green Tribunal has observed that the close monitoring by the tribunal even in recent years shows that the progress in preventing the discharge of sewage and trade effluents into the Ganga river is not taking place on expected lines.

“Either the necessary treatment systems are yet to be set up at several locations or STPs/treatment facilities established are not fully functional. There is an unacceptable and unchecked delay with no accountability. Substantial funds are provided by the NMCG without expected results,” NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said in a recent order.

The tribunal pointed out that reasons for not achieving results may be due to tardy processes or a lack of effective credible mechanisms. “Timelines have kept changing conveniently for decades. Even now there is no commitment for any fixed timeline in the future, to the great and irreversible detriment of Ganga. This disappointing state of affairs needs change which is possible with the intervention of the highest authority under the 2016 order. With every interval of time, there should be a graphic reduction in pollution load which is not happening,” the tribunal said further.

It is high time that an alternative credible executing mechanism is explored so that treatment systems are established and operated on the fixed timeline and errant persons are made accountable so that not a drop of pollution goes to Ganga, the green court noted.

“Even after decades of monitoring of six years after 2016 Ganga Order of the Central Government, still nearly 50 per cent of untreated sewage and substantial industrial effluents are continuing to be discharged in the river or its tributaries/drains, in absence of requisite functional treatment capacity. Thus, instead of indefinitely continuing the proceedings without success, as has happened in the last 37 years,” the order read.

Accordingly, the tribunal directed the Member Secretary, NMCG (National Mission for Clean Ganga) to place the agenda of reviewing the existing mechanism for executing the work of setting up and maintaining requisite treatment systems to ensure the prevention of pollution of Ganga in the next meeting of the NGC, which is the highest authority under the 2016 Ganga Order, preferably within one month or as early as possible thereafter.




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