The National Green Tribunal today took note of a plea alleging ground water pollution in Sambhal district of Uttar Pradesh and sought a response from the state government on the matter. A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim issued notices to the Yogi Adityanath government, state pollution control board, Sambhal district magistrate and the municipal council while seeking their replies before July 13. “Children are drinking dirty water. It’s shocking. Why don’t you do something,” the bench, also comprising expert Nagin Nanda, said.
The plea filed by advocate Gaurav Bansal said as per the website of the national rural drinking water programme maintained by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, the groundwater of 30 villages of Sambhal district was heavily contaminated. He contended that the people in these villages were forced to drink polluted water due to the inaction by the state government in resolving the issue. The lawyer has sought directions to the state government to provide potable drinking water to the villages in the district where handpumps were discharging contaminated water.
The petition alleged that due to the consumption of the contaminated groundwater, “farmers, children, and aged persons” of these villages were suffering from various diseases. The lawyer said he had himself visited one such village Sharifpur and found that all the handpumps were releasing yellow coloured water. “During the visit, applicant was told by the villagers of Sharifabad and Kurkawali that many of the interior villages were facing acute potable water shortage,” it said. It has also sought direction to formulate and place on record a scheme to prevent health hazards caused by the consumption of contaminated handpump water.