National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued a series of compliances to be followed to control the pollution of the water bodies such as the Ganga, the Yamuna and their tributaries.
The order, passed on July 13, has been lauded by the water and environment activists in Ghaziabad. The activists have been fighting to rid the river of pollution, which had once begun to be called as the Hindon drain. Addressing media persons in a press conference on Friday, Aakash Vaishistha and Vikrant Sharma, both renowned environmental activists from the city, put forth the salient features of the new order which would benefit 400-km Hindon, which flows between Ganges and Yamuna rivers, through Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida.
- Industries on the banks of the rivers have to be monitored properly and have to instal Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) waste management processes.
- The drains and the tributaries connected to the rivers have to be dredged with minimal usage of heavy machinery.
- Agencies such as the National Mission for Clean Ganga and the UP government are to keep a check on the indistrial discharge.
- Individuals and agencies, either public or private, are to be fined Rs 50,000 for violation of the NGT guidelines.
- Two separate committees have been formed for supervision and implementation of the NGT order. The committees include members from various local and regional agencies of the government. The committees would submit reports every three months.
- A distance of 100m from the edges of the river body has now been marked as a no-development zone.
- Dumping of e-wastes and bio-wastes is not permitted within a distance of 500 m from the edge of the water bodies.
- Industries on the catchment area of the river will no longer be able to draw ground water.
- Local authorities to ensure the removal of encroachment from the banks of the water body and develop green belts in their place.
- Existing and upcoming Sewage Treatment Plants to follow stringent guidelines for functioning and the new ones to be moved 500 m away from the river's edge.
Calling the development as a historical achievment, Aakash Vaishistha told City Spidey that the judgement did not limit its purview on the more prominent stretches of Ganga and Yamuna such as
the Bhagirathi and the Alakananda rivers. “All the smaller tributaries such as the Hindon river will now enjoy the same treatment like river Ganga itself,” Vaishistha added.
Similar views were shared by Vikrant Sharma, another Ghaziabad activist and a lawyer, who had taken matters regarding the pollution of Hindon to court on several ocassions.