The National Green Tribunal has directed inspection of a sewer pipeline going to a common effluent treatment plant (CETP) at Jajmau in Kanpur to verify the claim of the Uttar Pradesh government that it was blockage free. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar constituted a team comprising Dr A B Akolkar, ex-member secretary of Central Pollution Control Board, a representative of UP pollution control board (UPPCB) and a Director in National Mission for Clean Ganga that will inspect the sewer line system. “It will also be specifically seen that there is no detained silt, waste or any other obstruction in the drain/sewer line. We appoint advocate A D N Rao as local commissioner to be present during the examination of the sewer line. “The SHO of the area concerned is directed to provide police help and assistance to the members of the committee.
The fees of the members of the visiting team shall be paid, as per the directions of the tribunal, by the Central Pollution Control Board out of the funds collected under the orders of the NGT,” the bench said. The green panel directed the team to conduct the inspection on September 15 at 11 am and asked the UP Jal Nigam and UPPCB to ensure that all machines or equipments required for performing this test are kept ready at the site. The direction came after the counsel appearing for the UP government told the bench that the drain pipeline going to Jajmau, which was 72 per cent blocked, has been cleaned and now it has a free flow, without any obstruction.
The tribunal had earlier said that unless the pipeline is cleaned and is capable of handling the quantum of sewage and other waste that is to be carried to the Jajmau plant, the entire exercise would be “inefficacious” and the Ganga cleaning project would be rendered non-functional. On July 13, the green panel had set up a supervisory committee to oversee proper and effective implementation of all the projects for Ganga cleaning and submit the implementation-cum-progress report to the tribunal every three months.
The tribunal while passing a slew of directives, including banning construction activities, within 100 metres of the river edge had said the government spent over Rs 7,000 crore in two years to cleanse the Ganga which still remains a “serious environmental issue”. In a detailed judgement, the tribunal had also prohibited dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river, ordering that offenders would be liable to pay a penalty of Rs 50,000 per default.
It had directed the authorities concerned to commence the work of setting up sewage treatment plants and installing anti -pollution devices within four months and complete it within two years. Regarding shifting of tanneries located in Jajmau cluster in Kanpur, the bench sought an action plan from the leather units within six weeks, failing which “the UP government shall be duty bound to close the tanneries and shift them to Banthar, Unnao or any other developed site which it considers appropriate”.