National Green Tribunal has directed authorities in states of Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal and National Mission For Clean Ganga, to ensure timely completion of all projects relating to sewage treatment by June 31, 2020, in respect of ongoing projects and by December 31, 2020 in respect of others, failing which compensation has to be paid.
A bench headed by Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel also said "Till then, to avoid untreated sewage being discharged directly into Ganga, interim remedial measures have to be adopted and for the default after 01.11.2019 compensation has to be deposited. CPCB may make necessary calculation within one month from today and raise demands with the Chief Secretaries of the concerned States which may be complied within one month from the date of such demand failing which accountability will be of the Chief Secretaries personally."
The bench is monitoring the remedial measures to prevent and remedy pollution of river Ganga. It reiterated it's observation that "The result of monitoring for 34 years has not been encouraging. Government of India took initiatives by way Ganga Action Plans I & II and thereafter by way of Namami Gange. The progress so far has been far from satisfactory."
It directed authorities to implement the directions already issued which includes.
a) Preventing discharge of industrial effluents in Ganga and its tributaries/drains by ensuring installation of proper functioning of ETPs/CETPs.
b) Utilization of treated sewage, use of sludge as a manure and septage management.
c) Demarcation of flood plain zones and preventing
d) Maintenance of e-flow.
e) Preventing dumping of solid and other waste in and around Ganga.
f) Clearing old legacy waste dump sites.
g) Preventing and regulating illegal sand mining.
h) Steps for conservation of groundwater particularly with reference to critical, semi-critical or over-exploited areas.
i) Restoration of water bodies.
j) Monitoring and displaying of water quality.
k) Taking action against polluters by way of recovering compensation for restoration of the damage to the environment.
l) Closing, till compliance, all establishments near river banks being run without necessary STPs and compliance of environmental norms.
m) Public awareness and involvement for prevention and control of pollution of Ganga.
n) Regulating activities on and around river Ganga
including ghats and other establishments.
o) Afforestation and setting up of biodiversity parks.
p) CPCB and SPCBs may periodically undertake biological assessment of Ganga. NMCG and States concerned may depict biological diversity of Ganga in public domain.
q) Any other directions covered by earlier orders of this Tribunal.
The tribunal also directed Central Pollution Control Board to take further action to finalise and circulate Guidelines for Biodiversity parks expeditiously which may be complied with by the concerned States and status of compliance included in the reports to be filed before this Tribunal.
It added that apart from the Chief Secretaries, the progress may be monitored by the Monitoring Committee constituted in the State of UP. Justice U.C. Dhyani in the State of Uttarakhand and in such manner as may be laid down by the Chief Secretaries in the States of Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.
The tribunall will further hear the matter on April 29, 2020