The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday decided to itself inspect the most polluted stretch of Ganga river, between Haridwar in Uttarakhand to Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh — to get the clear picture.
The green panel has been hearing the 32-year-old case of pollution in the river since February 6, after the Supreme Court forwarded the matter to it.
So far, it has reprimanded the officials and even ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation probe against Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam officials for irregularities and shut down industries along the stretch. However, it is, for the first time, that the tribunal had decided to make an on the spot inspection.
NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar on Tuesday pointed out the absence of definitive data on the quality and quantity of pollutants being discharged into the river.
“It will be in the interest of justice to have site inspection of most polluted parts of Ganga in segment B of Phase-I (Haridwar to Unnao).
“Therefore, we direct the state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Union Environment Ministry, Water Resources Ministry, the Central Pollution Control Board, the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Bord, the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam to make all preparatory steps for inspection at Kanpur at the first instance,” the bench added.
According to the CPCB report, there are over 1,000 Seriously Polluting Industries (SPI) and 30 storm water drains lining the Ganga in the stretch between Haridwar and Kanpur and more than 800 million litres per day (MLD) of untreated sewage being poured into it.