The National Green Tribunal has requested reports on the contamination brought on by the discharge of sewage and industrial effluents from the district magistrates of 10 West Bengal districts where the Ganga and its tributaries flow. The NGT has also asked for details about the authorities’ corrective measures.
The Ganga, also known as the Bhagirathi or the Hooghly, is located in West Bengal. The green tribunal was deliberating on a case involving the prevention and management of Ganga pollution.
“Let notice be issued to the District Ganga Protection Committees concerned in West Bengal through their Ex-Officio Chairman (District Magistrates) for submitting a report,” said a recent ruling by a bench led by NGT Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava.
The bench, which also included Justice Sudhir Agarwal, Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi, and expert member A Senthil Vel, identified encroachment on floodplains and sand mining as two of the main causes of river pollution in the state, in addition to the discharge of untreated sewage, industrial effluents, hazardous waste, and biomedical waste into the river.
The bench stated, “Therefore, at this stage, we direct the District Magistrates of all the districts (mainstream and tributaries) from where the mainstream of river Ganga and its tributaries flow in West Bengal to submit their own separate reports on the issues with respect to steps which have been taken by the committees for prevention and control of river Ganga pollution in their respective areas.
The case has been scheduled for further discussion on December 6.
The tribunal said on August 28 of this year that it will examine the problem of preventing and controlling pollution in the Ganga throughout its full length, including every state, city, and district.