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National Green Tribunal Pulls Up One More Company For Polluting Ganga

At present, 823.1 million litres per day of untreated sewage flow into the river and three of the four monitored Sewage Treatment Plants are non-compliant with the set standards, the National Green Tribunal said

National Green Tribunal Demands A Clarity On Ganga Encroachment From Centre, Other Stakeholders
Highlights
  • NGT imposes Rs 10 lakh fine each on three industrial units in Uttar Pradesh
  • 823.1 million litres per day of untreated sewage flows into Bagad river
  • Earlier NGT shutdown 13 industries in UP for violating pollution norms

New Delhi:  The National Green Tribunal on May 12 slapped a fine of Rs 15 lakh on a pharmaceutical unit in Uttar Pradesh for discharging untreated effluents in the open. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar imposed the fine on Gajraula-based Teva API India Limited after an inspection team found that the discharge from the sewage treatment plant (STP) was not of permissible standards. The tribunal also directed the pharma unit to comply with all the recommendations made by the joint inspection committee and submit a compliance report to the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board.

In a move to uphold the ‘living entity’ status accorded to Ganga the Uttarakhand High Court, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on May 5 blamed the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) for compromising the cleanliness levels of the river by allowing several polluting industries to operate along the river. Reprimanding the officials for irregularities, the NGT has ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe against the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam in February.

The bench found that the Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) which are supposed to check the effluents discharged into Ganga, were constructed without any field work or inspection. The panel headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar issued a notice to the UPPCB asking them to justify their actions for allowing polluting industries to operate which polluted the Bagad river and several tributaries of Ganga for years.

Why cost shouldn’t be imposed on you and action not taken against your officials for granting permission to such industries which have been causing pollution over all these years, the bench said. The green court further added, You sit and keep wasting public money. How shameless can you be? Ganga is not cleaned because of officers like you.

The NGT also slapped fines of Rs 10 lakh each on three industrial units in Uttar Pradesh for discharging untreated effluents and extracting ground water without permission from the Central Ground Water Authority. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar imposed the fine on Gajraula-based ASP Sealing Products Ltd, Dairy India Private Ltd and Umang Dairies Ltd for not setting up effluent treatment plants in their premises and releasing untreated waste in the open.

The green panel asked these industrial units to deposit the amount with the Central Pollution Control Board to “show their bonafide” before it.

Earlier, the NGT had ordered closure of 13 industries in Uttar Pradesh, including Amroha-based drug firm Jubilant Life Sciences, after inspections found them violating pollution norms.

The order was passed after the green panel noted the findings of a special inspection team which said that the effluents discharged in the Bagad river were beyond the prescribed limits.

Bagad, which spans a distance of 200 kms, contained heavy industrial pollutants from Gajraula and Bhagrala industrial clusters as there was no effluent treatment plant on the river.

Also Read: National Green Tribunal To Site Inspect Pollution In Ganga River

The NGT had noted that though Bagad does not meet Ganga, the effluents would meet the river when there is a heavy flow.

The industrial units which were ordered to be closed are Jubilant Lifesciences Ltd (distillery unit), Jubilant Industries Ltd (Polymer unit), Jubilant Lifesciences Ltd (chemical unit -1), Jubilant Lifesciences Ltd (chemical unit -2), Jubilant Agri & Consumer Products, ASP Sealing Products Ltd, Teva API India Ltd, Insilco Ltd, Umang Dairies Limited, Dairy India Private Limited, Coral Newsprints Ltd, Kamakshi Paper Mill and Kaushambi Paper Mills.

On April 24, the NGT had constituted an inspection team comprising Member Secretary of Central Pollution Control Board, Director (Tech), National Mission for Clean Ganga, Director, Ministry of Environment and Forests and Member Secretary of Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board.

They were directed to inspect 12 industries in the catchment area of Bagad river at Gajraula in Amroha district of Uttar Pradesh and report about the source of water used by them.

In a detailed report covering various aspects of contamination in the river, CPCB had informed the NGT that the Ganga, spanning a distance of 543 km between Haridwar and Kanpur, was affected by 1,072 seriously polluting industries which were releasing heavy metals and pesticides.

At present, 823.1 million litres per day of untreated sewage and 212.42 MLD of industrial effluents flow into the river, while three of the four monitored Sewage Treatment Plants were non-compliant with the set standards, it said.

With Inputs from PTI

Also Read: National Green Tribunal Imposes A Fine Of ₹ 1 Lakh For Disposal Of E-Waste In Ganga

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