NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) sought an action-taken report from the Himachal Pradesh government on the steps taken for cleaning of the Ashwani Khud river in Solan, which had plastic flowing into it as per a video that went viral in 2018.
The 1.2-minute video showed that that the Ashwani Khud river which supplied drinking water to Shimla till 2017 has turned into the “river of plastic” with enormous quantity of waste flowing into it.
A bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, NGT Chairperson directed the state to submit the action taken report by April 30, 2019. The Tribunal directed the Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board (HPSPCB) to verify the facts and submit a detailed report after taking cognisance of the video.
The HPSPCB issued notices to the civic bodies of Shimla and Solan for violation of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
The NGT was informed during the hearing that the Solan Municipal Council is in the process of preparing drain-wise estimate for installing plastic trap, nets and check dams.
The Shimla Municipal Corporation informed the bench that it is taking steps for solid waste management and the fencing work will be completed by April 15. It further said that the plastic waste would be purchased by the corporation and processed in waste to energy plant.