The Allahabad High Court order on Ganga pollution, 28/01/2021

  • 28/01/2021

Order of the Allahabad High Court in the matter of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) No. 4003 of 2006 on Ganga pollution.

An affidavit filed by the District Magistrate, Prayagraj stated that as per current status report, all STPs are functional and all parameters are within range.

The affidavit filed by the Uttar Pradesh Control Board stated that the water of river Ganga was not fit for drinking purpose but fit for bathing purpose. A test analysis report of January 27, 2021 regarding the quality of water was also annexed with the affidavit.

The affidavit of the Municipal Commissioner, Nagar Nigam Prayagraj, stated that 17 drains which fall in river Ganga and 25 drains in river Yamuna were being treated through the process called bioremediation.

However, A.K. Gupta, Amicus Curiae and the petitioners have stated that the disclosures made in the above affidavits were not correct and untreated water of various drains were still being directly discharged into the rivers. This has resulted in the water changing colour.

The Allahabad High Court on January 28, 2021 directed:

  • the Municipal Commissioner, Nagar Nigam, Prayagraj to file a personal affidavit bringing on record the agreement with the three private agencies to whom work of treatment of drains through the process of bioremediation has been entrusted. The amount of microbial consortia that had been mixed by these agencies while carrying out the treatment process, should be disclosed in view of the contention of the counsel for the petitioners that the said process was operational only on paper and infact little or virtually no microbial consortia was being mixed to treat water flowing through these drains.
  • The Uttar Pradesh Government has been asked to file an affidavit on the time needed for connecting the drains to the STPs.
  • The Central Government has to file an affidavit disclosing whether IIT Consortium has submitted any report in respect of the work entrusted to it for the management of Ganga River Basin and in case, report has been submitted, the same would be brought on record. It shall also be clearly disclosed as to what measures has been adopted by the Central Government so far to ensure the optimal environmental flow in the two rivers of Ganga and Yamuna in compliance of the directions issued by Allahabad High Court on January 19, 2011 and February 3, 2012.
  • The Central Government should also disclose the project, if any, undertaken by Ganga Basin Authority to preserve environmental flow of the two rivers and flora and fauna in Ganga Basin.
  • The Nagar Nigam, Prayagraj and Magh Mela Authority has been ordered to ensure "rigorous enforcement of the notification banning plastic bags and other disposables of thickness less than 50 microns within their territorial limit and that no plastic waste is littered on the ghats and banks of two rivers".