NGT bans dumping of waste within 500 metres from edge of Ganga: 'UP is duty-bound to shift tanneries'

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) declared that 100 metres from the edge of River Ganga will be a 'No-Development Zone' — in the stretch between Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.

River Ganga. Reuters

File image of River Ganga. Reuters

"There shall be no dumping of waste of any kind within 500 metres from the edge of River Ganga," NGT bench said, PTI reported.

Taking steps towards cleaning the river, the tribunal said that Uttar Pradesh should be "duty-bound" to shift tanneries from Jajmau to Unnao or any other place it considers appropriate within six weeks.

The NGT also declared a fine of Rs 50,000 on anyone who dumps waste in River Ganga.

The top green body also directed the government of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to formulate guidelines for religious activities on ghats of Ganga or its tributaries. The body also will form a  supervisory committee to oversee implementation of directions passed in its 543-page judgement and submit the report to it.

In February, the tribunal had criticised the government agencies of wasting public money in the name of cleaning the river.

“Not a single drop of the Ganga has been cleaned so far, “the tribunal had observed on 6 February.

A Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked government agencies to work together for the cause, saying: “The Prime Minister has given you a goal, take it as a national project.”

The tribunal also asked the government agencies about how they were executing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Namami Gange project’, adding that it did not want the “drama” regarding complaints between the Centre and Uttar Pradesh to go on.

Centre has allotted over Rs 2,000 crore under the “Namami Gange” programme for the purpose of cleaning Ganga river. The tribunal also warned 14 industrial units operating in Bijnor and Amroha districts on the banks of Ganga and “polluting” the river to be ready to be shut down while asking them why they should not be closed.

On 19 October last year, the NGT had constituted a joint inspection team comprising then member secretary of CPCB, the chief engineer of the UP Jal Nigam, a senior environmental officer from UPPCB and a representative from National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) to collect information on the quantum and quality of waste being released into the river.

The green panel has divided the work of cleaning the river into five segments — Gomukh to Haridwar, Haridwar to Unnao (segment B of Phase-I), Unnao to the border of Uttar Pradesh, UP border to the border of Jharkhand and from there to the Bay of Bengal.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jul 13, 2017 12:35 PM

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