Ganga cleanup delay may cost states Rs 10 lakh/month: NGT

Green bench order also said the National Mission for Clean Ganga would be held liable to pay 50% of the amount if directions not followed  

By Shagun
Published: Friday 23 August 2019
Delay in the Ganga's cleanup would now prove to be costly for the basin states, the NGT has said. Photo: Getty Images

Delay in setting up of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) and sewerage networks to prevent pollution in the Ganga beyond prescribed deadlines may cost the states Rs 10 lakh per month per STP and its network, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has said.

The tribunal said this during a hearing this month to review the progress of compliance of its earlier orders to Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh (UP), Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal regarding illegal discharge of untreated sewage and industrial effluents into the river or its tributaries and connected drains.

Other orders by the NGT dealt with dumping of solid waste, bio-medical waste, hazardous waste and plastic waste, illegal sand mining and illegal encroachment of the floodplains.

The NGT has divided the work of cleaning the river in different segments — Gaumukh to Haridwar (Phase-I), Haridwar to Kanpur (Segment B of Phase I), Kanpur to UP border (Phase II), UP Border to Jharkhand border (Phase III) and Jharkhand border to the Bay of Bengal (Phase IV).  

On the stretch between Gaumukh to Haridwar and Haridwar to Kanpur, NGT said bioremediation and/or phytoremediation or other remediation measures could be started as an interim measure from November, wherever work had not commenced.

If this did not happen, the state would be liable to pay a compensation of Rs five lakh per month per drain, to be deposited with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

It also said if the work did not start till December 2020, all concerned states would have to pay an environmental compensation of Rs 10 lakh per month.

“With regard to works under construction, after July 1, 2020, direction for payment of environmental compensation of Rs 10 lakh per month to CPCB for discharging untreated sewage in any drain connected to river Ganga or its tributaries and Rs 10 lakh per month to CPCB per incomplete STP and its sewerage network will apply,” the NGT’s order of August 7 read.

If directions were not complied with, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) would be held liable for to the extent of 50 per cent of the amount to be paid, the court said.

Out of 86 drains to be tapped, only 33 have been wholly or partially tapped till now, a status report filed by the UP government has said.

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