The National Green Tribunal today directed the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), the implementing wing for rejuvenation of the river, to apprise it about the expenditure details of the Rs 20,000 crore budget granted to it for cleaning and protection of Ganga.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notice to the Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal governments to explain how they propose to deal with the pollution caused in the river flowing through their jurisdiction and submit an action plan in this regard.
“NMCG should clear its stand on Rs 20,000 crore granted to it and state how much it has disbursed to various authorities in relation to the cleaning of Ganga. The requisite details should be filed within ten days from today,” it said while posting the matter for hearing on August 18.
It also asked industries like tannery paper and pulp, textile, slaughter houses and others to clear their stand on installation of online monitoring systems and what steps they have taken till now to control pollution resulting from their activities.
The tribunal expressed displeasure over the fact that its judgement with regard to Segment B of Phase-I (Haridwar to Kanpur) has been pending since long and asked the authorities concerned to file their suggestion expeditiously.
The Union Cabinet had last year approved a Rs 20,000 crore budget for the ‘Namami Gange’ Programme last year, a four-fold increase over the money spent in the last three decades for the river’s conservation.
The programme is be implemented by NMCG and its state counterpart organisations, that is, the State Programme Management Groups (SPMGs).
The green panel has divided the work of cleaning the river into different segments — Gomukh to Haridwar, Haridwar to Kanpur, Kanpur to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to Bay of Bengal.
On December 11 last year, the tribunal had imposed a complete ban on use of plastic of any kind from Gomukh to Haridwar along the river from February 1 and decided to slap a penalty of Rs 5,000 per day on erring hotels, dharamsalas and ashrams spewing waste into the river.