NGT declares 100 metres from the edge of the river Ganga as a ‘no-development zone,’ from the stretches of Haridwar to UP
Lucknow,July13:The National Green Tribunal has declared 100 metres from the edge of the river Ganga as a ‘no-development zone,’ from the stretches of Haridwar in Uttarakhand to Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. The judgment has been passed to ensure that waste disposal, one of the primary reasons for the polluted state of the river is checked. The Green court ruled that no dumping of any kind of waste would be permissible within 500 metres of the Ganga. Authorities have been instructed to impose a hefty penalty of Rs. 50,000 on anyone found guilty of disposing waste. NGT also asked Uttar Pradesh authorities to shift tanneries from Jajmau in Kanpur to any appropriate place, within a period of six weeks.
With pollution levels rising steadily in the Ganga, the river has faced several issues ranging from water depletion to a dip in its water quality. Despite several cleaning up programmes undertaken by successive Union governments, the state of the river has not improved much. In July 2017, NGT said that despite spending Rs. 4,800 crore, on improving the state of the river since 1986, as informed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, not much has been achieved. Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have also been directed by NGT to formulate guidelines for religious activities on the ghats of the river, as religious gatherings have seen instances of waste disposal in the river. A supervisory committee has been formed by NGT to ensure that its suggestions in the 543-pages long judgment are implemented.