Oversight Committee report on contamination of water bodies and groundwater in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, 11/12/2020

  • 11/12/2020

Updated report of Oversight Committee in compliance to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order passed in Original Application No. 116/2014 in the matter of Meera Shukla Vs Municipal Corporation, Gorakhpur & Others - regarding remedial action for contamination of water bodies and groundwater specially Ramgarh lake, Ami river, Rapti river and Rohani river in and around district Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.

The Oversight committee on 15th June, 2020 had mentioned that no tangible efforts were being made regarding checking of untreated sewage in the existing 103 water bodies and ground water, especially Ramgarh Lake, Rapti river and Rohini river, in and around district Gorakhpur. The Committee had also mentioned that sewage treatment plants (STPs) at Magahar and Khalilabad had not been sanctioned. Gorakhpur Industrial Development Authority (GIDA) had not commenced work on its Common effluent treatment plant (CETP).

The Committee had asked the Chief Secretary to ensure sufficient budgetary resources for starting these works. During this period after the last meeting, some progress was made, the report said. The revised detailed project reports (DPR) for Magahar and Khalilabad have been sent to National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG). GIDA has prepared a project report of R. 76 crores for these projects and sent to NMCG. However, the progress is unsatisfactory. On the ground, no work regarding checking of this untreated sewage from flowing into water bodies has so far started. Nor have any resources for the same been mobilised either from budgetary resources or Central Government grants. The report recommended that the Chief Secretary of the state should explain as to how he proposes to mobilise resources for these works and also indicate timelines for these works.

The NGT had directed that all the municipal corporations would start the work on landfill site/processing plant and any default after April 1, 2020 would attract environmental penalty. Gorakhpur Municipal Corporation had so far not started any work on the landfill site or on the processing plant. The Oversight Committee report of December 11, 2020 said that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) should explain as to why no notice for recovery of environmental compensation in this regard was issued to Gorakhpur Municipal Corporation.