Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Bhadar river pollution
Treated wastewater from all three common effluent treatment plants (CETP) and one sewage treatment plant (STP) in Jetpur, Gujarat, was being used for irrigation in an agricultural land.
However, the quantity of the treated wastewater generated from them was huge compared to the land available, according to the compliance report by the joint committee of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB).
The report was in compliance to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order on pollution in river Bhadar due to discharges from textile units in Jetpur, Gujarat. It was uploaded to the NGT website November 23, 2020.
The report said the Jetpur Dyeing and Printing Association (JDPA) has constructed three collection sumps outside the Bhadar river bed for collection of wastewater from member textile units through tankers. The textile units had started discharging the effluent mostly through tankers to these newly constructed collection sumps.
However, the sewage from the Jetpur area and primary treated effluent from textile units located in the residential area was still being discharged in an open C-channel and got collected at the collection sumps located in the bed of the river.
The collection sumps and receiving wells in the bed of river Bhadar, therefore, were not dismantled.
Once the 23.5 million litres water a day (MLD) capacity STP by Jetpur-Navagadh Nagarpalika becomes operational, discharge of effluent from textile units in the C-channel is likely to stop completely. There would not be any direct source of wastewater discharge to the river Bhadar in Jetpur area.
The report recommended that the construction work of the STP should be completed at the earliest and made operational so that the sewage from the Jetpur area is treated and the sewage discharge stopped completely.
The GPCB and JDPA must ensure that industrial units dispose of their effluent only through tankers to the JDPA’s CETP and no effluent is discharged in C-channel.
The tankers carrying effluent from member industries to CETP should be enabled with a GPS tracking system and the tracking history submitted to GPCB on a regular basis.
The JDPA should dismantle the existing C-channel, collection sump and pumping station located in the Bhadar. GPCB should monitor and ensure the same.
Further, JDPA’s STP, which is presently treating the mix of sewage and effluent, should be converted to CETP for treating only the industrial effluent, once the STP being constructed by Jetpur-Navagadh Nagarpalika becomes operational and all sewage is diverted to the STP.
Mining in Bheri Dariya forest block
Satellite images of Bheri Dariya forest block, Hamirpur, showed that no mining was found inside the forest area of the block or the 100-metres periphery, stated the report filed by the divisional forest officer (DFO), Hamirpur Forest Division, Uttar Pradesh with the NGT.
The matter related to illegal sand mining in forest land in village Hamirpur adversely affected the environment, it said. The DFO was directed by the NGT to look into the matter.
The mining block adjacent to the Bheri Dariya forest block was following effective protection measures such as regular patrolling by frontline staff and inspection by officers of the Uttar Pradesh forest department, according to the report.
Kosi river pollution
The oversight committee headed by Justice SVS Rathore November 19, 2020 recommended that all units abstracting groundwater be directed to get water audit conducted to assess the actual water requirement of the plant.
The issue for consideration was pollution caused in Kosi river in Rampur district through polluting industrial activities. River Bhella in Moradabad is a tributary of Kosi river in Rampur, which is a tributary of Ramganga, which in turn is a tributary of river Ganga.
All such industries should discuss with municipal bodies the ways to use treated water for industrial purposes. A holistic plan leading to minimal wastage of water should be prepared and made operational, the committee said.
The industries should be directed to install tertiary water treatment facilities to make the water suitable for drinking and consumption.
With respect to quality control, shallow borewells could be dug around all such units and water samples periodically analysed by the Central Groundwater Authority (CGWA) / state groundwater authority (SGWA) for any traces of contamination.
Though pollution in these rivers is caused by industries situated in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand both, the oversight committee considered the units situated only in Uttar Pradesh because there was a separate committee for Uttarakhand.
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