Nearly 32 years after a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court on pollution in the Ganga, the National Green Tribunal today reserved its verdict on the second phase of its cleaning project between Haridwar to Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.
The green panel, to which the 1985 PIL of noted environment activist M C Mehta was transferred in 2014, had divided the cleanliness drive in four segments of the river which passes through Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal spanning a distance of almost 2500 kms.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar has already delivered the verdict in December 2015 with regard to first phase between Gomukh to Haridwar and now the second judgement would deal with measures to rejuvenate the Ganga between Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Unnao in UP. The tribunal heard the arguments of the NDA government, the UP government, pollution control boards and various other stakeholders for almost 18 months before reserving the judgement.
Besides Justice Kumar, the bench which is hearing the Ganga case comprises Justices Jawad Rahim, R S Rathore and Expert Members B S Sajwan, Ajay A Deshpande and Nagin Nanda. The green panel has divided the work of cleaning the river in different segments — Gomukh to Haridwar (Phase-I), Haridwar to Unnao (termed as segment B of Phase-I), Unnao to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to Bay of Bengal.