The National Green Tribunal has rapped the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) for delay in submitting a report on specific liability of industries on sewage discharge containing toxic chromium into Ganga at Rania and Rakhi Mandi in Kanpur.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said more than six months have passed and the UPPCB has not yet passed any order on the subject on a specious plea that proceedings are still pending.
Such an attitude can hardly be appreciated and the situation needs to be remedied by the concerned supervising authorities, the NGT said.
“Let the UPPCB now finalise the matter and pass its order on or before September 30, 2021 and file the same before this tribunal. The appellants are at liberty to file their objections, if any, to the said order within 15 days thereafter,” the bench said in a recent order.
The NGT had earlier slammed the UP government for failing to check sewage discharge containing toxic chromium into Ganga at Rania and Rakhi Mandi in Kanpur and imposed a penalty of Rs 280 crore on 22 tanneries for causing pollution.
It had also held the UP government liable and slapped a penalty of Rs 10 crore on it.
The green panel had said the problem has not been tackled for the last 43 years and it has resulted in contamination of ground water affecting the health and life of the inhabitants.
The environment compensation of Rs 280.01 crore was assessed by the UPPCB.
It had also held UPPCB liable and directed it to pay Rs 1 crore for ignoring illegal discharge of sewage and other effluent containing toxic chromium directly into Ganga.
“UP Jal Nigam is held liable to pay a sum of Rs 1 crore for releasing untreated large quantity sewage containing toxic chromium in Ganga. These amounts may be deposited with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within one month which may be overseen by the UP chief secretary,” the bench had said.
The order came after perusing two reports filed by Justice Arun Tandon, former Judge of the Allahabad High Court, who had been appointed as head of a Committee to oversee the compliance of Ganga cleaning.
Justice Tandon along with the representatives of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, the CPCB, state pollution control board, UP Jal Nigam and the local residents of the area, visited the sites and noticed the status of the Rania and Rakhi Mandi in Kanpur.
Taking strong note of the report, the tribunal said, “The above report is self-speaking and paints a grim picture of failure of the authorities in taking remedial measures, forcing the inhabitants to drink polluted water which is a serious hazard to their health.
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