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Ganga Pollution- Large Quantity Of Untreated Water Flowing Into Rivers, Huge Amount Of Public Money Getting Wasted: Committee Informs Allahabad HC

Sparsh Upadhyay
11 Feb 2021 5:00 AM GMT
Ganga Pollution- Large Quantity Of Untreated Water Flowing Into Rivers, Huge Amount Of Public Money Getting Wasted: Committee Informs Allahabad HC
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A committee consisting of counsels for the U.P. State Pollution Control Board, the Central Government, the brief holder for the State and Amicus Curiae (A.K. Gupta) on Tuesday (09th February) informed the Allahabad High Court that large quantity of untreated water is still flowing into the rivers and a huge amount of public money is getting wasted. The Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar...

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A committee consisting of counsels for the U.P. State Pollution Control Board, the Central Government, the brief holder for the State and Amicus Curiae (A.K. Gupta) on Tuesday (09th February) informed the Allahabad High Court that large quantity of untreated water is still flowing into the rivers and a huge amount of public money is getting wasted.

The Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta, Justice Siddhartha Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar was further informed by the team that use of plastic bags is rampant in the city and the plastic waste which gets generated is choking the sewer lines.

The team also informed the Court that:-

  • The drains which are untapped and are being presently treated by process of bio-remediation are discharging foul smelling water.
  • The Committee raised doubts about the very process of treating sewerage water by process of bioremediation.
  • The report also specifically mentions that 50% of the existing nallas are still not connected with sewerage treatment plants, or if connected, are overflowing.

It may be noted that this team of counsels personally visited the Sewage Treatment Plants and various ghats and have submitted their joint inspection report in compliance of Court's previous order dated 28th January 2021.

The Court also took into account the submission made by other parties including Officer Incharge, Magh Mela, Prayagraj.

The Court also noted that there are repeated allegations that during night time, the STPs are shut down and the sewage water is directly discharged into the rivers.

Regarding Magh Mela, the Court said,

"We hope that during entire mela, a constant water level shall be maintained so that no difficulty is caused to the pilgrims taking dip in the holy rivers."

Lastly, the Court asked the Chairman, U.P. State Pollution Control Board to file his personal affidavit, making the following disclosures: -

  • The interval at which water samples are taken for testing. It shall clearly be specified whether any water sample is taken after sunset and before sunrise.
  • In this regard, the extract of relevant records maintained by the Board in last three months shall be brought on record.
  • What is the procedure being followed by the Board to monitor discharge of effluents from STPs during night time.
  • Whether the effluents are tested on the parameters laid down by the Central Pollution Control Board.
  • The relevant records relating to testing of effluents from sewage treatment plants of last three months shall be brought on record.
  • The relevant records relating to monitoring of the effluents from untapped nallas that are allegedly being treated by process of bio-remediation shall also be filed.
  • The affidavit shall disclose the mode of monitoring the water discharge from such drains and whether the same meets the laid down standards or not.

Further, the Court directed as under:-

  • The Nagar Ayukt, Nagar Nigam, Prayagraj and the Officer Incharge, Magh Mela, Prayagraj shall file their personal affidavits disclosing further action taken by them in the meantime for ensuring compliance of the ban imposed by the State Government on use of plastic bags of thickness less than 50 microns.
  • In order to implement the said direction, we hereby direct the Senior Superintendent of Police to provide all possible assistance to the Mela Authorities/Municipal Authority.
  • All efforts should be made to cut the supply chain of plastic bags of thickness below the prescribed norms.

Background of the Matter

The Allahabad High Court last month sought responses from various State authorities in UP with respect to protection of river Ganga and the steps taken by it to ensure that the water quality of the river is not deteriorated.

This order was made in a suo moto case registered by the High Court in the year 2006, to protect and restore the river.

The matter came to be listed after an intervention was filed by Advocate Tripti Verma, claiming that water of rivers Ganga and Yamuna has deteriorated severely.

Further, on 28th January, the Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board told the Allahabad High Court that the water of river Ganga is not fit for drinking purpose.

Case Title: Re Ganga Pollution v. State of UP & Ors. [(PIL) No. - 4003 of 2006]

Click Here To Download Order

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