Uttarakhand News

NGT verdict: 100m area of Ganga declared as ‘No Development Zone’, Rs. 50,000 fine for dumping garbage

by Abhay Aswal
Jul 14, 2017

In a historic 543-page judgement, National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday declared a 100-metre area on the either side of Ganga to be “no-construction, no-development zone” while directing a hefty fine of  Rs. 50,000 fine on anyone caught dumping waste in the river. The entire stretch of the river Ganga from Haridwar to Unnao will come under the no-development zone. In addition to that, NGT also directed that no dumping of waste or landfill activities can be carried out within 500 meters of the river or its tributaries in the Haridwar-Unnao stretch.

32 years after the Supreme Court verdict in the year 1985 regarding Ganga clean-up, this landmark judgement have raised hope for the better future for the Ganga river – a manifestation of the divine itself. The NGT also directed officials to complete the construction of sewage treatment plants related to Nmami Gange Project within two years. A complete prohibition was imposed on disposing of municipal solid waste or bio-medical waste on the floodplains or into Ganga or its tributaries in the Haridwar-Unnao stretch.

Ganga needs a (clean-up) plan that is technically feasible, economically viable and practically executable with tested modern technology, appropriate technical inputs from stakeholders and expert institutions as to performance and planning, free from fundamental errors.

 – Justice Swatanter Kumar, National Green Tribunal (NGT)

Highlights of the NGT verdict

  • When diverting the Ganga from Haridwar to Ganga Canal or elsewhere, the minimum flow in the main river should not fall below 20% of the average monthly lean season flow.
  • The tribunal directed UP government to make sure the 86 drains mentioned in the verdict as well as other major drains and sewage lines connecting to Ganga must be dredged, cleaned of sludge and the waste removed within six weeks from Thursday.
  • The NGT bench, headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, have called for change in strategy as the previous governmnet scheme have failed miserably while the river gets dirtier.
  • The bench also allowed state governments liberty to raise money from the people, if need be, to fund Ganga clean up. In addition to that, the bench directed local authorities to recover environmental conservation charges from the public or a class of people responsible for generating higher sewage.

Inputs from Times of India