The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday ordered that there can be no landfill sites or garbage dumping within half-a-kilometre of the Ganga between Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.
The bench also announced a penalty of Rs 50,000 on anyone dumping waste near the river on the same stretch.
During the hearing of a petition regarding the cleaning and rejuvenation of the Ganga, NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar said a huge amount of money had been spent on cleaning the river but desired results were not visible.
In a 543-page order, the green panel said all area within 100 metres of the river should be declared “no development zone”.
The green panel directed all authorities concerned that various projects including setting up of a sewage treatment plant and cleaning of drains should be completed within two years and asked the Uttar Pradesh government to shift its tanneries from Jajmau in Kanpur to another place within six months.
The green court also directed the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand governments to develop guidelines for any religious activities on the ghats of the Ganga or its tributaries and also formed a supervisory committee and asked it to submit a progress report.
NGT has segregated the work of cleaning the Ganga in five segments — Gomukh to Haridwar, Haridwar to Unnao, Unnao to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to Bay of Bengal.
It had in April directed 13 polluting industries situated along the tributary or major drain of the Ganga river to be shut down.
In December, it imposed a ban on the use of plastic from Gomukh to Haridwar along the river.