Report on discharge of industrial effluent in rivers negatively affecting the surface water in western Uttar Pradesh, 27/07/2020

  • 27/07/2020

Report of Oversight Committee in O.A. No. 231/2014 in Doaba Paryavaran Samiti Vs State of Uttar Pradesh & Others. The matter related to discharge of industrial effluent in rivers negatively affecting the surface water (Kali Nadi, Krishna and Hindon rivers) and groundwater in the region of western Uttar Pradesh. Furthermore, water pollution was having health implications for the inhabitants.

A committee constituted by the Tribunal in its report of February 11, 2019 said that discharge of untreated sewage and industrial effluents in districts Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar is mainly responsible for the water pollution. Hand pumps from which contaminated water is extracted and consumed were still functional. No measures were found to be undertaken by the authorities for supply of potable water in the affected areas and to identify as well as provide compensation to the victims of water-related diseases.

The Committee noted that despite repeated instructions by NGT, follow up of Oversight Committee, and assurance by the Chief Secretary before NGT, water supply through tankers had not been started by Panchayati Raj Department. Chief Secretary may be asked to ensure compliance immediately and also to take action against concerned officers, the report added. Despite repeated directions by the NGT and the Committee, the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam had not ensured piped water supply in 148 affected villages.

Till date, piped water supply had been ensured only in 45 villages. In July 2019, this figure was 41 villages. Thus only 4 villages have been provided piped water in one year’s time. There has been no physical progress in installation of any of three sewage treatment plant (STPs) proposed in the last one year. No action has been taken against any negligent officer despite directions of the court. Performance Guarantee of Rs 5 Crore directed by NGT on March 15, 2019 has yet to be deposited.

Not a single village has been provided water through tankers till now despite written assurance to NGT by Chief Secretary on October 20, 2019. In fact the ACS Panchayati Raj has informed the Committee that in view of hand-pumps working in these villages there is no need of water supply through tankers. Such gross negligence in fulfilling the basic needs of the citizens is not acceptable and punishable, the committee report said.

Note: The report of July 27, 2020 was uploaded to the NGT site on August 7, 2020