NGT directs Uttarakhand govt to submit fresh report on Ganga cleaning

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Uttarakhand government to submit a fresh compliance report on the steps taken by it to clean the river Ganga in the stretch between Gomukh and Haridwar.

A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim passed the order after advocate M C Mehta, who has filed a plea for cleaning of Ganga, said that there were deficiencies in the report and it does not answer whether the directions of the tribunal have been complied with.

"Consequently, we direct that a supplementary report be filed within one week after serving the same to all concerned. We make it clear that no further time will be granted.

"On behalf of the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board the report has been filed. We will consider the same along with other case," the bench said.

The matter will be taken up for hearing on March 13.

The green panel, in a detailed judgement, had passed a slew of directions to rejuvenate Ganga, declaring as 'No Development Zone' an area of 100 metres from the edge of the river between Haridwar and Unnao and prohibiting dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river.

The tribunal had said that the government had spent over Rs 7,000 crore in two years to clean the Ganga "which still remains a serious environmental issue".

The order, running into 543 pages, said "till the demarcation of floodplains and identification of permissible and non-permissible activities by the state government of this judgement, we direct that 100 metres from the edge of the river would be treated as no development/construction zone between Haridwar to Unnao in UP."

'No-development zones' are areas where no construction including commercial or residential buildings can come up.

It also imposed a complete prohibition on disposal of municipal solid waste, e-waste or bio-medical waste on the floodplains or into the river and its tributaries.

The tribunal reiterated its earlier order of ban on mechanical mining in Ganga and said "no in-stream mechanical mining is permitted and even the mining on the floodplain should be semi-mechanical and preferably more manual".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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