New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Uttar Pradesh (UP) chief secretary to take urgent steps to dispose of the solid waste that has accumulated in Prayagraj (Allahabad) post Kumbh Mela and fix accountability of officers in this regard. Taking note of a report filed by a committee headed by Justice Arun Tandon, the NGT said the situation in the area was alarming and it needed to be dealt with on an urgent basis to avoid the spread of epidemics.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said accountability must be fixed at the ground level and personal supervision by senior-level officers ensured. The bench said,
We accordingly direct that an appropriate monitoring mechanism of fixing accountability of ground-level officers and the level of the officers required to monitor may be determined by the chief secretary at the earliest, preferably before April 26 on which date, the chief secretary, state of Uttar Pradesh, is expected to appear before this tribunal.
The tribunal said that on perusal of photographs, it was found that there was an urgent need for restoration work for the treatment of sewage water, remediation work for drains and solid waste processing.
The direction came after examining the report of Justice Tandon which said that a large number of toilets have been constructed at various camps on the ‘Arail’ side very close to the river. The report said,
Sewage received at the Rajapur STP (Sewage Treatment Plant) was in excess of the installed capacity. Only 50 per cent of Rajapur drain was being treated through Geo tube and the remaining 50 per cent was being permitted to enter river Ganga without treatment. At Jodhwal Nala Rasoolabad, the capacity of bioremediation technology was 6 million litres per day.
The report further added,
At Salori STP, the 29 MLD (Million Litre Per Day) plant was not working satisfactorily. Sewage was in excess of capacity. BOD (Bio-oxygen Demand) level was 47 mg per litre. The Geo tube was not working satisfactorily. 50 per cent of the sewage from the Salori drain was being trapped. Remaining was being permitted to enter river Ganga without treatment.
The tribunal had earlier asked the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) to monitor the environment during the Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj (Allahabad). The NGT had said that since the religious festival was being conducted on a large scale, segregation of waste should be done at source by educating the people. It had directed the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing and other authorities to display posters and banners and distribute handbills to educate people with regard to waste management.
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