Judgement of the National Green Tribunal regarding Ganga river pollution, 13/07/2017

Judgement of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of M.C. Mehta Versus Union of India & Others dated 13/07/2017 regarding Ganga river pollution. NGT notes that GAP I and GAP II has failed to yield the required results and on the contrary there has been tremendous increase in the industrial and sewage pollution load in river Ganga and its tributaries. That at Haridwar, Uttarakhand the natural flow of river Ganga is 31,000 cusecs, after which gets is reduced to 4000 cusecs when it reaches Kanpur and from certain STPs/CETPs, even the effluents directly enter river Ganga and its tributaries either because of overflow or the bypass created by such plants due to of low capacity of the plant.

Some of the directions passed by NGT are the following:

1. All the 86 drains as well as other major drains and sewerage line connecting thereto shall be dredged, cleaned of sludge and waste removed.

2. Till the demarcation of the floodplains and identification of permissible and non-permissible activities by the State Government of this judgement, NGT directs that 100 meters from the edge of the river would be treated as no development/construction zone in Segment-B of Phase-I (Haridwar to Unnao, Kanpur).

3. There shall be a complete prohibition on disposing of MSW, E-waste or bio-medical waste on the floodplain or into river Ganga or its tributaries falling in Segment B of Phase-I. 2.

4. There shall be no dumping or landfill sites for any kind of waste irrespective of any technology for waste processing, within 500 meters from the edge of the river Ganga and/or its tributaries.

5. While carrying out precautionary dredging of the river, no instream mechanical mining is permitted and even the mining on the flood plain should be semi mechanical and preferably more manual.

6. Any Government Agency, Public Authority, Industry or person who violates any of the directions contained in this judgement and more particularly in relation to storage, transportation of spent chrome liquor, dumping of any kind of waste in river Ganga and its tributaries or on the banks of the same and discharges effluents from outlet, including the STP/CETP in violation to the prescribed norms or is found to be discharging spent chrome liquor or any effluent containing chrome or otherwise, shall be liable to pay environmental compensation of Rs. 50,000/- for each breach or default.