Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding discharge of municipal waste into river joining Godavari, Trimbakeshwar, Nashik, Maharashtra, 11/02/2022

  • 11/02/2022

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Dr. Kiran Ramdas Kamble & Others Vs State of Maharashtra dated 11/02/2022.

Question for consideration is the remedial action for failure of the Trimbakeshwar Municipal Council and other concerned authorities of the state of Maharashtra in preventing discharge of municipal waste into river joining Godavari, in violation of judgement of the Supreme Court (Paryavaran Suraksha Vs UOI, (2017) 5 SCC 326).

The matter has been considered five times earlier – each time finding apathy and noncompliance on the part of the authorities, directions were issued for remedial action but "unfortunately the situation remains unremedied to the detriment of environment and public health," the bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Sudhir Agarwal said.

The Municipal Council Trimbakeshwar has filed an affidavit giving the analysis report of the water quality from the STP which is operational. However, the annexures do not specify location of sampling i.e. inlet/outlet. Water quality of receiving water body i.e. river Godavari and pollution load being carried by the two drains (Neelganga Nalla and Mhatarroad Nalla) have also not been provided, as required in terms of earlier order of the Tribunal.

The court said that from the reports, it is seen that generation of sewage is in the range of 4.5 – 5.0 MLD while arrangement for treatment is only for 1 MLD sewage. Remaining untreated sewage is being discharged into the river which is not fit even for bathing purposes.

The NGT questioned why the concerned officer is proposing action by August 2023, when such an action could have been taken earlier. The reports filed by the authorities are incomplete and there is no information on cleaning of drains used for dumping sewage and garbage. Details of the quantity of sewage generated from adjoining areas and the progress on underground sewerage needs to be ascertained so as to ensure remedial action. Comprehensive plan for Trimbakeshwar has to be in place, the NGT order said.

The Principal Secretary (Urban Development) has assured the court that immediate interim arrangements will be made to prevent untreated sewage being discharged into the river, pending permanent solution by way of setting up necessary STPs and directions earlier issued will now be complied with.