Oversight committee report on river pollution, 12/02/2021
Updated report of the Oversight Committee dated 12/02/2021 in the matter of Original Application No. 673/2018 (News item published in The Hindu authored by Jacob Koshy titled "More river stretches are now critically polluted: CPCB".
The Oversight Committee stated that out of the total 339 drains in 12 polluted river stretches, 257 are untapped till date. Untreated sewage was flowing into the rivers and no interim measures had been taken to prevent this. Plan details along with timelines and corresponding physical and financial progress regarding tapping of these 257 drains should be filed by the state governments before NGT within a month.
Likewise, out of total 5500 MLD sewage generated in the states of these 12 polluted river stretches, only 2630 MLD was treated in operational 100 STPs. There exists a gap of 2870 MLD. Currently, 38 STPs with capacity of 887.06 MLD were under construction while 24 STPs with capacity of 568.10 MLD were proposed. The progress in construction and project implementation appears to be slow, the Committee noted.
Progress of in situ remediation as an interim measure appeared unsatisfactory. In the meeting held by the Oversight Committee on February 5, 2021 no information was furnished by the concerned authorities which suggested that no action had been taken in this regard. CPCB had given notice for environmental compensation (EC) for inaction by authorities for ensuring bio/phytoremediation for Rs. 18 crore which was also not deposited. The Oversight Committee report said that the CPCB must submit report regarding how much EC has been realized out of total imposed EC of Rs. 18 crore on 120 drains for the period November 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020.