Noting that industrial effluents and sewage discharged by industries were the primary cause of pollution in Ganga, the National Green Tribunal today directed the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government to take a clear stand on a mechanism to clean the river from Haridwar to Kanpur.
A bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar directed Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Environment Ministry, Ministry of Water Resources, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, UP Jal Nigam and Uttar Pradesh government to devise a methodology to rejuvenate the river.
“This segment (Haridwar to Kanpur) contains very high pollution by industrial trade effluents as well as huge quantity of sewage being discharged into the Ganga directly or indirectly mainly untreated and rest of it partially treated,” the bench said.
The green panel also noted that the condition of zero liquid discharge on the industries situated along Ganga as well as installation of online monitoring system is difficult to be performed and achieved.
The green bench said that it will take up the matter in relation to segment B of Phase-1 (Haridwar to Kanpur) on January 11 and posted the matter for arguments.
The tribunal on December 23, 2015 had held a meeting of stakeholders including chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand besides other senior officers from both the states.
The green panel had divided the cleaning work of Ganga into different segments—Gomukh to Haridwar, Haridwar to Kanpur, Kanpur to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to Bay of Bengal.
On December 11, last year, the tribunal had imposed a complete ban on use of plastic of any kind from Gomukh to Haridwar along Ganga with effect from February 1 while slapping a penalty of Rs 5,000 per day on erring hotels, dharamshalas and ashrams spewing waste into the river.
Earlier, the Union Minister of State for Water Resources had told the Rajya Sabha that CPCB has inventorised 764 grossly polluting industries which were discharging 501 mld of trade effluent directly or indirectly into the drains reaching Ganga and its tributaries.
He had told that CPCB has also identified 144 drains along the main stem of river Ganga, discharging about 6614 mld of sewage/waste water.