NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed 18 states and 2 Union Territories to submit an action plan which ensures the use of treated waste water to reduce reliance on the already depleting ground water resources of India on May 14.
The bench, headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, NGT chairperson has given the states and UTs a time of 3 months to submit a detailed action plan to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). If they are unable to meet the deadline without a valid reason, the green panel would mark the states/UTs as defaulters for the violations of the directions given by the bench. The direction was issued by the NGT while hearing a plea filed by Mahesh Chandra Saxena, who claims to work for an NGO in the field of ground water conservation. The states’ plans might include a monitoring system for proper coordination with the local bodies and this will be the responsibility of the chief secretaries of all the states and UTs.
“It is well known that absence of a plan for reuse of treated water affects recharge of ground water and also results in fresh water being used for various purposes for which treated water could have been used alternatively. Proper plans for reuse of waste water can add to availability of potable water. This being a substantial question of environment, direction is issued to the states and UTs which have not yet submitted their action plans to do so latest by June 30, failing which the tribunal may have to consider taking coercive measures, including compensation for loss to the environment,” the NGT bench said.
According to a status report issued by the CPCB, action plans have been received from Andaman & Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Odisha and Tripura, while the states which are yet to submit action plans are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Dadar and Nagar Haweli, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Pondicherry, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.