Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding Adi Ganga river pollution, West Bengal, 20/09/2019

  • 20/09/2019

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Joydeep Mukherjee Vs The Chairman, Pollution Control Board & Others dated 20/09/2019 regarding Adi Ganga river pollution, West Bengal.

History of the Case: 

The case had come up before the Tribunal on April 8, 2019 after a period of two years. The State Pollution Control Board, the Irrigation and Water Waste Department, Government of West Bengal and the concerned Municipal Corporation (KMC) were directed to submit the present status on the action taken for rejuvenation of Adi Ganga river. The concerned authorities were directed to submit an action plan for rejuvenation of the river and the steps taken for clearing the pollution and present status within two months. The Chief Secretary of Government of West Bengal was categorically directed to oversee the proceedings and ensure that proper action plan was prepared to remedy the situation.

On July 29, 2019 Information Secretary, Urban & Municipal Affairs Department, Government of West Bengal informed the Court that the National Mission for Clean Ganga Authority (NMCGA) was to consider the proposal on sewer and drainage network including pumping stations and STPs estimated at Rs. 339.50 crores. As an immediate measure to clear the Adi Ganga of silt, hydrophytes and other aquatic plants, dredging and other means was directed to be undertaken. That apart, the KMC was directed to remove all encroachments from the banks of Adi Ganga.

No report of substance has, however, been received in the interregnum even when the matter was going on since the year 2015 during which specific proposals had been submitted by the KMC, the Government of West Bengal and the NMCGA, noted the NGT.

In compliance to the court orders, affidavits were filed by the NMCGA, the KMC and the Urban Development Affairs Department, which was found lacking by the Tribunal. Further, Subhas Dutta, Amicus Curiae has given information that there was construction of concrete structures in the form of bridges on the Adi Ganga river at different places, namely, Kali-Ghat Temple, near Karunamayee and Garia Market. That apart matter relating to filling up and reclamation of Adi Ganga for widening the road near Karunamayee has also been brought to the notice of the court.

NGT Order of 20/09/2019: 

The NGT directs the Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal to ensure that illegal constructions on Adi Ganga are withheld immediately and action taken for reviewing the decision and file an affidavit on the compliance of the directions within a period of two weeks.