New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal on Friday issued notices to the Chief Executive Officers of five municipal councils in Uttar Pradesh to show cause why environmental compensation be not imposed on them for their failure to comply with "statutory obligations" on discharge of untreated sewage water in Ganga.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar slammed the municipal bodies of Mirzapur, Chunar, Bhadohi, Fatehpur and Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh for not complying with environment rules.
"We direct the said authorities to show cause as to why environmental compensation in term Section 15 and 17 of National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 be not imposed upon them de-horse relief prayed for in this application.
"The reply shall also contain show cause notice which is primarily issued for their failure to comply with statutory and public law obligations and the directions issued by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)," the green panel said.
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for CPCB, said cleaning up of the Ganga is a priority for the government and if there would be non-cooperation then it would be difficult for it to meet the deadline on rejuvenation of the river.
The matter is now listed for next hearing on 11 July.
The tribunal was hearing a plea by CPCB seeking directions to UPPCB and the CEOs of these five municipal councils to "prepare a plan of action to clean river Ganga and water bodies, ground water and soil in a time-bound manner and recover the cost of preparation and execution of such plan of action from the polluters."
CPCB said it had earlier also issued direction to UPPCB for treatment of sewage and restoration of water quality and had also asked it to submit a time-bound action plan for proper collection, treatment and disposal of sewage.
It had alleged that despite reminders no such action plan was formulated by these five municipal councils.
"The respondents (UPPCB and five municipal councils) have failed to provide adequate sewage network and also failed to install sewage treatment plants for effective treatment of sewage discharged into the river," the petition had claimed.
"Their failure to act is causing irreparable environmental damage to Ganga and has massive ramifications for the people at large in Uttar Pradesh," it had said.
CPCB had also said that it has identified one of the longest polluted stretches in river Ganga from Kannauj to Varanasi and the main cause of pollution in the river was discharge of untreated or partially treated sewage.
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Updated Date: May 20, 2016 19:47:08 IST