The National Green Tribunal imposed a penalty of Rupees 50 crores on the Punjab Government for failing to take measures to control the pollution of the rivers Sutlej and Beas in the districts of Jalandhar and Ludhiana. The NGT Principal Bench at New Delhi headed by Justice A K Goel acted on the issue filed by Sobha Singh in 2014. On testing the water sample of the river, it was found that Total Dissolved Solid (TDS), Accumulation of Chromium, Nickle, Zinc and pesticides were at a high rate. Metal traces like Nickel, Chromium and Zinc were detected in the soil of the fields which was irrigated by the waters of the River. The Punjab Pollution Control Board reported the high amount of organic and inorganic pollution. The tribunal brought to notice that almost over 1332 hazardous waste generating industries were affecting eight districts of Rajasthan. Almost 35 municipal corporations, Panchayats disposes of sewage with heavy metal and BOD loads into the river. The reports state that the industries and the local bodies had failed to take necessary measures to install treatment plants. The Monitoring Committee constituted by the Tribunal noted “ the lack of a sewage system, non-availability of STP’s and lack of technology, lack of wastewater treatment and lack of skilled manpower, the non-sustainable approach in designing of sewage management projects.” The also brought to notice that the sludge generated from the Sewage Treatment Plants ( STP’s) were not being treated and the maintenance was poor. The STP’s were bye- passing the untreated sewage into the drains. The mixing of industrial effluents with the domestic sewage resulted in the damage of STPs. On the basis of the report by the Committee, the Tribunal ordered the following: “ There is no reason not to accept the findings in the report to the effect that huge damage has been caused to the environment particularly the water bodies as well as to the inhabitants. The Committee has representatives from all concerned authorities. Even on a conservative estimate, learned counsel for the parties suggest and we find no reason to disagree that the damage in monetary terms will be not less than Rs 50 Crores”.
Tags : #India#Environment#River Pollution