Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding polluted river stretches in India, 06/12/2019
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of News item published in "The Hindu" authored by Shri Jacob Koshy Titled "More river stretches are now critically polluted: CPCB" dated 06/12/2019 regarding remedial action for 351 polluted river stretches in India.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on December 6, 2019 directed that 100% treatment of sewage need to be ensured atleast to the extent of in-situ remediation before March 31, 2020, along with work on setting up of sewage treatment plants (STPs) and connecting all the drains to the STPs. If the order is not implemented on time, the the local bodies and the concerned departments of the
"states/UTs will be liable to pay compensation i.e. Rs. 5 lakhs per month per drain, for default in in-situ remediation and Rs. 5 lakhs per STP for default in commencement of setting up of the STP."
Timeline for completing all steps of action plans in the matter including completion of setting up STPs and their commissioning till March 31, 2021 has to be ensured, the NGT warned. Delay would mean payment of compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs per month per STP.
In order to make sure that the directions are followed, an institutional mechanism has to be set up, the court said. For this purpose, monitoring should essentially be done by the Chief Secretaries of all the
states/UTs at state level and at national level by the Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti with the assistance of National Mission for Clean Ganga and Central Pollution Control Board.
CPCP has been asked to furnish a new report, which should "focus on parameters such as as pH, COD, DO and other recalcitrant toxic pollutants having tendency of bio magnification." Monitoring gaps need to be identified and upgraded so as to cover upstream and downstream locations of major discharges to the river the tribunal said.