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Former HC judge to lead committee formed to oversee rejuvenation work of Ganga

Former HC judge to lead committee formed to oversee rejuvenation work of Ganga
(Image Credit: Twitter)

The National Green Tribunal has appointed former Uttarakhand High Court judge, Justice U C Dhyani, as head of the three-member committee to oversee rejuvenation work of the Ganga river.

A bench headed by chairperson A K Goel had earlier named Justice Arun Tandon as head of the panel which was set up on August 6 this year.

However, he was replaced after the tribunal was informed that he would be busy with the upcoming Kumbh event at Allahabad.

"Other Members of the committee for the stretches will be nominee of Central Pollution Control Board and nominee of IIT Roorkee. Same representative of CPCB will continue, as before.

"However, the committee headed by Justice Arun Tandon may conduct its meeting already scheduled on December 1 to 3, 2018 which may also be attended by Justice U C Dhyani and the representative of IIT-Roorkee," the bench said in an order dated November 29.

Passing a slew of directions, the NGT said decentralised processing facilities should be provided closest to the source of generation of solid waste near hotels, dharamshalas and ashram or other such places for segregation and treatment of biodegradable waste and its appropriate disposal.

The hotels, dharmashalas and ashrams should not operate without the requisite consent from the state pollution board, the tribunal said.

It also directed that digital display boards be set up at major Ghats (Bathing enclosures), where quality of the water may be displayed.

"We also request the Committee to involve Legal Services Authority wherever viable to undertake the work of creating awareness and also to publish the requisite information in local language or on permanent places," said the bench, also comprising Justice S P Wangdi.

The tribunal also directed the law enforcing agencies to implement the Supreme Court order directing that every cinema hall, and video parlours should have at least two slides of messages on environment in each show and information films of short duration should be shown in Cinema halls.

"Further, 5-7 minutes programme should be broadcast once a week by Doordarshan and AIR on the subject of environment. The subject may be made compulsory in schools, colleges and universities for general growth of awareness of environment," the NGT said.

The green panel said that there was a communication gap with regard to orders issued by this tribunal on various issues involving states.

"Even though orders of the tribunal are placed on the website, it may be appropriate that CPCB undertakes compilation of gist of important directions periodically and conveys the same to the concerned Pollution Control Boards/Committees for onward communication to the concerned authorities for compliance," the tribunal said.

The matter is listed for next hearing on March 6 next year.

Meticulous monitoring and systematic approach was required for cleaning Ganga from Haridwar to Unnao, the tribunal had earlier said.

The green panel has divided the work of cleaning the river in different segments — Gomukh to Haridwar (Phase-I), Haridwar to Unnao (termed as segment B of Phase-I), Unnao to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to Bay of Bengal.

The tribunal had earlier said the water of the Ganga, between Haridwar and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, was unfit for drinking and bathing, and expressed anguish over the situation.

The green panel had said that innocent people drank and bathed in the river with reverence, without knowing that it may adversely affect their health.

It had directed NMCG to install display boards at a gap of 100 kilometres, indicating whether the water was fit for bathing or drinking.

"People are drinking and bathing in the Ganga out of reverence and respect. They do not know that it may be dangerous to their health. If cigarette packets can contain a warning saying it is 'injurious to health', why not the people be informed of the adverse effects (of the river water)," the NGT had said.

Voicing dissatisfaction over the steps taken by the Uttarakhand government to clean the Ganga, the NGT had on July 19 said the situation was extraordinarily bad and hardly anything effective has been done to clean the river.

The green panel, in a detailed judgment, had passed a slew of directions to rejuvenate the Ganga, declaring as 'No Development Zone' an area of 100 metres from the edge of the river, between Haridwar and Unnao.

(With inputs from agencies.)



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