Irked over the failure of Uttar Pradesh government and Jal Nigam to providing potable water and healthcare in six western districts, the National Green Tribunal today lambasted the authorities, asking them to “behave” and saying they had “no respect for human lives”.
The green panel also expressed displeasure over the fact that the concerned authorities have not initiated any action to provide requisite medical care to residents in villages of Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad and Saharanpur districts.
“What steps have you taken for the healthcare of people living in the area. Tell us what test did you perform on the people to ascertain their diseases? How can you establish the disease without conducting the tests? You people take the lives of people so formally as if it is some file on your table. You better behave yourself,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said in an oral observation.
The green panel also pulled up the Chief Medical Officer of Baghpat and asked him about the steps taken by him to medically examine people affected by drinking polluted water.
“Did you take blood samples from residents and analyse the cause of their diseases? Why didn’t you do it? They will not go to your house to give their blood samples, it is your duty to approach them. It’s your responsiblity. You have no respect for human lives,” the bench said.
The NGT asked Akhilesh Yadav government to consult Central Ground Water Authority and conduct scientific analysis of water in all the six districts suffering from water pollution and submit a report before the next date of hearing on October 21.
The green panel also directed the removal of hand pumps releasing contaminated groundwater in these areas and ordered the district administration to ensure availability of potable water to villagers.
During the hearing, advocate Gaurav Bansal, appearing for petitioner scientist C V Singh, referred to an analysis report filed by UP government which said that arsenic was 4000 times in excess than the permissible limits in the vllages of Baghpat district.
Singh had claimed that farmers and poor villagers were facing health hazards as they were forced to drink highly contaminated ground water in these six districts.
On the last date of hearing, the tribunal had issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and Jal Nigam to show cause why penalties should not be imposed on them for their failure to provide clean drinking water in the six western districts.