Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding discharge of pollution in Yamuna river at Agra, Uttar Pradesh, 11/04/2023

  • 11/04/2023

Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding Dr. Sanjay Kulshresthra Vs Govt. of Uttar Pradesh & Others dated 11/04/2023.

Grievance in the application is against discharge of pollution in Yamuna river at Agra by the concerned local authority as well as private industrial/commercial establishments.

The report of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board dated February 24, 2023 acknowledged "discharge of 131 MLD of untreated sewage in Yamuna river and failure of the authorities to take necessary remedial action". The NGT noted that there are huge gaps and deficiences in sewage management in cities like Agra. Out of 91 drains in Agra, 21 drains (58.25 MLD flow) are tapped, 8 drains are partially tapped (210.82 MLD) and 61 drains (16.93 MLD) remain untapped and thus untreated effluent goes to river Yamuna. 286 MLD of sewage flows into drains and only 58.25 MLD is tapped.

The bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Sudhir Agarwal of the NGT said that from the reports filed by the authorities it appears that there is no urgency for providing STPs. No STP appears to have been set up after the year 2014. There are huge gaps and deficiencies in sewage management in such important city as Agra, the court said. Treated sewage is still being discharged into Yamuna instead of its utilization, the court noted.

The NGT directed the Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh in coordination with other concerned authorities in the state to ensure remedial action for which a special meeting of concerned officers be convened preferably within one month to consider that all the existing 9 STPs  in Agra are fully utilized and comply with standards. In addition, treated effluents should be utilized for secondary purposes with "defined sources/ command area, untapped, partially tapped drains be intercepted and diverted to STPs, performance of in-situ projects is evaluated, fortnightly monitoring of existing treatment of waste water with reference to consent conditions takes place".

The court directed an action taken report to be filed within four months and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has to file a report relating to chlorination, ferti-irrigation, performance of STPs and in-situ remediation projects at Agra.