Ganga Pollution: NGT Seeks Report from DMs of Bihar & Jharkhand

NGT, Ganga Pollution

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sought a report within eight weeks from the district magistrates of 38 districts in Bihar and four districts in Jharkhand, which are situated along the course of the Ganga river and its tributaries, regarding the issue of river pollution. The NGT was hearing a case related to the prevention of pollution in the Ganga river.

The bench, led by Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava, emphasized that a previous order dated August 28 had emphasized that the matter of preventing and controlling pollution in the River Ganga would encompass the entire stretch of the river, including all states, cities, and districts.

The bench also comprising judicial member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and expert member A Senthil Vel said in an order passed on September 5, the tribunal had noted the details of the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016, and specifically the role of the District Ganga Protection Committees.

The order highlighted various key issues related to the Ganga river in Bihar, including concerns about groundwater contamination, sewage discharge, illegal sand and stone mining, encroachment on floodplains, threats to aquatic species, alterations in the river’s natural course, and pollution from industries, municipal solid waste, biomedical waste, and hazardous waste.

The bench also took note of issues related to the Ganga river in Jharkhand, such as unauthorized mining, industrial pollution, sewage discharge, mine water discharge, disposal of fly ash, effluent discharge from coal washeries and industrial facilities, overexploited groundwater, and the insufficient number of Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) and Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs).

The NGT directed the district magistrates of all 38 districts in Bihar and the four districts in Jharkhand, through which the Ganga river and its tributaries flow, to submit a report on the aforementioned issues and the steps taken by the District Ganga Protection Committee to prevent and control pollution in the river within their respective areas. The deadline for submitting this report is eight weeks.

The tribunal also noted that during the proceedings, the Executive Director of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) had volunteered to provide information on pollution issues in the Ganga river and its tributaries, categorized by state, district, and city. The NGT requested that this information be provided within eight weeks.

The case is scheduled for further proceedings on December 5, 2023.


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