In an attempt to keep a check on the pollution level in river Ganga, National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday banned the dumping of any kind of waste within 500 metres of the river’s edge.
Further, country’s top green court has also directed the authorities to impose a penalty of Rs 50000 on anyone caught littering the river.
NGT also issued a notice to 35 thermal power stations on Central Pollution Control Board’s plea alleging that the stations had no pollution monitoring system at stations installed with them.
National Green Tribunal earlier in May this year in a separate decision also called for banning dumping of electronic waste (e-waste) on the banks of river Ramganga in Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh.
A fine varying from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh will be awarded to anyone found guilty of doing so.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also constituted a panel to immediately remove the waste lying on the river bank and sought a detailed report within two weeks.
“It has been brought to our notice that huge quantity of hazardous e-waste generated from various industries in powder form is being disposed on the bank of river Ramganga in Moradabad,” the bench said.
Earlier this month, NGT also suspended a verdict given by Uttarakhand High Court that declared river Ganga as the “first living entity” of India.
As per Uttarakhand HC ruling, river Ganga being the living entity, was to enjoy all the rights that the Indian Constitution empowers to every citizen of the nation.
Uttarakhand government had approached the apex court stating that rivers flow through four states so Uttarakhand High Court can’t alone pass such orders. Also, if the rivers are declared as a living entity or deity, then people will not be able to wash and bathe in the rivers.
SC issued a notice to original petitioners in Uttarakhand High Court, Mohammad Salim and others, and sought their response.
The 2,525-km long river Ganga originates in the Himalaya and ends in the Bay of Bengal. It is also the third largest river in the world in terms of discharge.
The most sacred river to Hindus, Ganga was ranked as the fifth most polluted river in the world in 2007.