NEW DELHI: For failing to curb pollution in the river Ganga, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), on December 18,came down heavily on authorities and directed them to complete all sewage treatment related projects by June 30,2020. The NGT bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chairman, NGT, said that the information on the Ganga water quality in the Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal stretch. Also, the reports except from Uttarakhand did not state any number of drains and any sought of plan for their interception and diversion to the sewage treatment plants.
On demarcation of flood plains and prevention of encroachment, the tribunal said, “Timely completion of all projects relating to sewage treatment be ensured, that is by June 30, 2020, in respect of ongoing projects and by December 31, 2020 in respect of others failing which compensation has to be paid apart from action against the erring officers.”
Further, the green bench said that meanwhile to avoid sewage entering the river directly, interim remedial measures have to be adopted.And, for the default after November 1, 2019, relevant compensation has to be deposited.The NGT panel had also directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to assess the compensation to be levied on the respective States, within a month, and recover the same.
Earlier, the NGT bench had imposed a fine amount of₹280 crore on 22 tanneries for causing pollution and criticized the Uttar Pradesh government for failing to curb the sewage discharge from the tanneries containing toxic chromium into the river.