Who: National Green Tribunal
What: Gave directions on River Ganga Pollution Free
When: 10 December 2015
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 10 December 2015 gave slew of directions to keep River Ganga pollution free.
The bench, that gave the ruling, comprised of judicial member MS Nambiar and expert members DK Agrawal and BS Sajwan.
Highlights of the Judgment
• It divided the cleaning work of Ganga into four segments- Gomukh to Haridwar, Haridwar to Kanpur, Kanpur to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to Bay of Bengal.
• There will be a complete ban on use of plastic of any kind from Gomukh to Haridwar along Ganga with effect from 1 February 2016.
• If any hotel, dharamshala or ashram releases their domestic waste into Ganga, then it shall be liable to pay environmental compensation for causing pollution of the river of 5000 rupees per day.
• No activity will be permitted to be carried on in this zone including camping. The only exception would be points for picking up and dropping the guests who are doing rafting in River Ganga.
• It prohibited throwing of any municipal waste, construction and demolition wastes into Ganga.
• The procurement, storing and sale of plastic bags, plates, glasses, spoons etc are also prohibited.
• It directed the Uttarakhand government to provide bio-degradable materials including jute bags and such other items which can be permitted in the entire segment.
• It directed the State government and public authorities to ensure that public facilities like toilets are provided on the appropriate places in colonies abutting river Ganga all along segment-A of phase 1.
• It also directed that at least 100 meters from middle of the river Ganga would be treated and dealt as eco-sensitive and prohibited zone.
• It also held that there would be no throwing of any medical or bio-medical waste into the river on the river banks. If any hospital is found throwing such waste, it will cost 20000 rupees per violation.
• It directed Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh governments to set up 15 STPs, 24 bio digesters in 6 months to reduce sewage discharge in Ganga.
• It also imposed massive fines ranging from 10 lakh rupees to 1 crore rupees on industrial units along the river for discharging waste.