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"Quality Of Flowing Water Can't Be Compromised", Madras HC Directs State To Form Expert Body To Keep Rivers Free From Effluents

Sparsh Upadhyay
21 April 2021 5:31 AM GMT
Quality Of  Flowing Water Cant Be Compromised

Underling that the pollution level in the flowing water has to be reduced to the extent possible, the Madras High Court on Tuesday (20th April) directed the State Government to constitute an expert body to formulate appropriate measures.

The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy has directed the State Government to constitute an expert body with persons having impeccable credentials to suggest appropriate measures, whether to curb the extent of effluents discharged by the industry or to relocate industries which are close to the banks of flowing waterbodies.

The matter before the Court

The Court was hearing a plea filed by an Advocate, T. Dhanasekaran alleging the wanton permission accorded to industries near the banks of Amaravati and which had resulted in industrial effluents being discharged into the flowing water rendering the same not only unfit for human consumption.

It was also submitted that this also exposed nearby groundwater to also turn toxic and a private dyeing unit was also accused of polluting Amaravati river, a tributary of the Cauvery, by discharging effluents.

Having heard the plea, the Court remarked that it was the duty of the State and appropriate checks and balances should be introduced by the State to ensure that the dumping of effluents into any flowing waterbody, whether by any industry or by local inhabitants, is completely prohibited if only to preserve the quality of water for downstream users thereof.

Importantly, the Court remarked,

"In a State which depends primarily on flowing water and the damming of rainwater during the limited period that it gets rains, every endeavour should be made to ensure that the quality of the water is not compromised or adversely affected by the discharge of effluents or sewage or the like."

Consequently, the Court directed the State to constitute an expert body in this regard and also to come up with a set of guidelines with appropriate checks and balances before all flowing water in the State turns poisonous.

"The State should take the matter seriously and invite the best minds to indicate how the quality of flowing water across the State can be preserved", the Court further added.

Lastly, the Court directed the matter to be listed a fortnight after the summer vacation.

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