Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding discharge of treated waste water into Thol lake, Gandhinagar District, Gujarat. 08/07/2022
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of In re: News item published in The Indian Express dated 19.03.2022 titled “STP given nod to discharge treated sewage into Thol”.
Proceedings in the matter have been initiated on the basis of captioned media report to the effect that the STP proposed to be set up in Kalol town of Gandhinagar District in Gujarat has been permitted to discharge treated waste water into a lake which is a protected wetland and also declared a Ramsar site of international importance. The lake is fresh water lake and if waste water is discharged therein, the eco-system the lake will suffer.
A joint committee based on the site visit, consultation with stakeholders, deliberation with stakeholders recommended in its report, June 1, 2022 that treated wastewater of proposed sewage treatment plant of Kalol Nagarpalika should not be allowed to be discharged directly or indirectly into Thol Lake and its eco-sensitive zone in any case.
The NGT directed the Gujarat Pollution Control Board to take action by preventing discharge of sewage waste into the lake, including bypassing the flow of the waste water and to utilize the treated water and to construct the guard pond. The waste water may be utilized by the GIDC through the industrial units in the region, making it mandatory to do so for the identified establishments, against appropriate charges which may be used for restoration of the lake. The use of fresh water for industrial purposes may be controlled/regulated having regard to the fact that there is scarcity of potable water in the area. Quality of the lake may be maintained as per norms, the order said.