National Green Tribunal (NGT) Orders for Control of Pollution, ensuring water quality better
New Delhi – National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued directions, among others, for ensuring water quality and e-flow in the rivers, vide order/judgement dated 10.12.2015 and 13.07.2017 in Original Application (OA) 200 of 2014 and vide order dated 20.09.2018 in OA No. 673 of 2018.
NGT in its orders in Original Application No. 673 of 2018, directed all State and Union Territory (UT) Governments concerned to implement Action Plans approved by task team of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for rejuvenation/ restoration of polluted river stretches (PRS) falling in category priority I to priority IV. All concerned State/ UT Governments were directed to ensure execution of approved action plans by 30.06.2021 for bringing all the polluted river stretches identified by CPCB fit for bathing purpose (i.e Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) < 3 milligram/litre, Dissolved Oxygen more than 5.0 mg/l and Feacal Coliform < 500MPN/100ml). River Rejuvenation Committees (RRCs) have been constituted by State/UT Governments for preparation and implementation of approved action plan for PRS falling in category priority V, and a Central Monitoring Committee (CMC) has been constituted at Central level to monitor progress of implementation.
Pursuant to the orders of Hon’ble NGT in OA No. 673 of 2018, CMC meetings are held on a regular basis under the chairmanship of Secretary, Department of Water Resource, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, wherein implementation of approved action plans formulated by the concerned States/ UTs are reviewed.
CPCB in association with State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) / Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) in different States/Union Territories (UTs), have been monitoring the water quality of rivers and other water bodies across the country through a network of monitoring stations under the National Water Quality Monitoring Programme. Based on water quality monitoring results, pollution assessment of rivers has been carried out by CPCB from time to time. As per the last report published by CPCB in September 2018, 351 polluted stretches were identified on 323 rivers based on monitoring results in terms of Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), an indicator of organic pollution. State/UT wise details of polluted river stretches are at Annexure.
Out of total 351 PRS in the country, 53 PRS were identified in the State of Maharashtra. These include 9 stretches in priority I, 6 in priority II, 14 in priority III, 10 in priority IV and 14 in priority V.
NRCP has so far covered 78 polluted stretches on 36 rivers in 80 towns spread over 16 States in the country with the sanctioned cost of projects as Rs.6248.16 crore, and sewage treatment capacity of 2745.7 MLD created. Under Namami Gange programme, 406 projects, including 176 projects for sewage treatment of 5270 MLD and a sewer network of 5214 km, have been sanctioned at a cost of Rs.32898 crore against which sewerage treatment capacity of 1858 MLD has been created so far.
In addition, sewerage infrastructure is created under programs like Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Smart Cities Mission of Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs.
Steps taken by the Government to stop discharge of industrial effluents into rivers inter alia, include issuance of notification of specific discharge standards, revision of the criteria for categorization of industries and issuing directions to all SPCBs/ PCCs to adopt the same, issuance of consent to establish/consent to operate by the SPCBs/PCCs, based on Comprehensive Environment Pollution Index (CEPI) critically polluted areas are identified to take necessary measures through time-targeted Action Plans, regular inspections of Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs) by CPCB for compliance verification, installation of Online Continuous Effluent Monitoring System (OCEMS) for assessment of effluent quality and compliance status. In addition, the industries are encouraged to reduce their waste water generation by technological advancement, reuse/recycle of wastewater and maintain Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) where ever possible.
As per the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution), Act 1974, industrial units are required to install eﬄuent treatment plants (ETPs) and treat their eﬄuents to comply with stipulated environmental standards before discharging into river and water bodies. Accordingly, CPCB, SPCBs and PCCs monitor industries with respect to eﬄuent discharge standards and take punitive action for non-compliance under provisions of these Acts.
Cleaning of river is a continuous process. A number of sewerage infrastructure projects have been completed in a time bound manner in the years 2020-22. Improvement in water quality of identified rivers is being reported by several States.
This Information was given by the Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Shri Bishweswar Tudu in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.
Via – PIB