Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding pollution in Kali Nadi, Krishni and Hindon Rivers by industries, Uttar Pradesh, 21/10/2019
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Doaba Paryavaran Samiti Vs State of Uttar Pradesh & Others dated 21/10/2019 regarding pollution in Kali Nadi, Krishni and Hindon Rivers resulting in diseases and deaths of inhabitants of the area.
The Tribunal in its order of August 8, 2018 after going through various studies had said that there was contamination of groundwater and "more than 71 persons died from cancer and more than 47 persons are bed ridden in the Gagnoli village in Baghpat District in Uttar Pradesh." The water was getting polluted due to industries like sugar mills, distilleries, paper mills, electroplating, slaughter houses, wet blue hides and others.
The matter was last reviewed vide order September 20, 2019, where it was noted that water supply was made available in 41 villages out of 148, Detailed Project Reports (DPR) for several projects were pending approval.
The Tribunal found that the information with regard to the health surveys and water supply to all the affected areas was not adequate. The estimated dates for completion of the actions for treatment of sewage gap in the river was too long. There were need for immediate interim arrangement by way of phyto-remediation or bio-remediation. The Tribunal also noted that the information with regard to recovery of compensation was also not adequate. Accordingly, the NGT had directed the Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh to look into the matter, take action against erring officers and ensure remedial action in terms of augmenting water supply to the affected villages. The Chief Secretary was also asked to examine the possibility of sending a high powered committee to the area for expediting approvals.
The Chief Secretary submitted the report on October 20, 2019. The report stated among other things that requisite steps have been taken on the subject of water supply to the affected areas and till then drinking water would be supplied through tankers. Persons affected healthwise would be treated in "higher referral specialised hospitals". Further, compensation of Rs. 2.75 crores had been recovered and till the defaulting units pay the assessed compensation, their consent to operate would not be renewed.
Order of October 21, 2019:
The NGT directed the state of Uttar Pradesh to continue with the necessary steps in the matter, overseen by a Committee and the process of tender, DPR and other procedures can be reduced by using the GeM portal to the extent possible. The use of land covered by the legacy waste has to be explored for STPs/waste processing plants/ green belts/ bio-diversity parks "if the use is otherwise permissible under the relevant environmental law," the order added.