NGT calls meeting of Uttarakhand officials to make Ganga pollution free
The National Green today decided to hold a meeting with officials of Uttarakhand government on Thursday to deliberate on a strategy to make Ganga pollution- free in the state.
“Let the Secretary (Urban Development), Secretary (Water Supply), Secretary (Tourism), Secretary (Environment) and Member Secretary of concerned authorities be present on November 26, in Chamber of Chairperson,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar said.
The green panel, which was directed by the Supreme Court to act against industrial units polluting Ganga, passed the order after advocate M C Mehta, who has filed the petition for cleaning of Ganga, said most units operating from Gomukh to Haridwar were operating without obtaining No Objection Certificate (NOC).
The argument was denied by the counsel for Uttarakhand, who said that the state was “least polluting” and no hotel, ashram, dharamshala was running without NOC.
During the hearing, the bench also enquired about action taken by the state government against the polluting units.
The green panel had said it intended to take the issue of rejuvenation of Ganga stage-wise to clean up the 2,500 km stretch of the river spanning several northern and eastern states.
The Tribunal had said the plan would comprise of three phases and the first phase would relate to pollution in the river from the originating point at Gomukh to Kanpur.
“Right from Gomukh, from where Bhagirathi originates, to upstream Rishikesh, there is hardly any industrial pollution but a lot of sewage is discharged in the river Ganga. We will prohibit even the smallest house from releasing sewage in the river and not a single house will be granted water, electricty connection unless they have a septic or sewage tank.
“We will ensure there is total prohibition on discharge of sewage. Every public authority will ensure that there is collection of sewage from the septic tank and brought to the nearest Sewage Treatment Plant(STP) for treatment,” the bench had said.
With regard to stretch from Rishikesh to Haridwar, it had warned that it would shut down all hotels and ashrams running without consent.
Stressing the need to clean ghats in Haridwar, the NGT had asked Uttarakhand government to ensure that there is no commercial activity on the ghats in Haridwar.