New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) Innocent citizens drink Ganga water out of reverence without knowing the harmful contents and the least expected from the authorities is to notify the extent of harmful contents at appropriate locations including at Ganga Sagar in West Bengal, the National Green Tribunal said Wednesday.
The green panel said steps are required to be taken on 'war footing' by authorities in preventing water pollution in Ganga.
It said that control of pollution of river Ganga needs to be taken seriously at all levels in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
'In absence thereof, the desired result of rejuvenation of river Ganga which is dream of every Indian will remain unfulfilled,' the NGT said.
'Out of reverence for the Ganga water, innocent citizens drink the same without knowing the harmful contents including high level of faecal coliform.
'Least expected from the authorities, till satisfactory results are shown, is to notify the extent of harmful contents at appropriate locations including at Ganga Sagar to avoid adverse health effects,' a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel said.
The tribunal said that though certain steps have been taken, the compliance summary filed by National Mission for Clean Ganga shows that with respect to various projects, the matter is still at the tender/DPRs (Detail Project Reports) stage and progress in completing the ongoing projects in a timely manner remains a challenge, inspite of availability of funds, supported by the Government of India initiatives.
The NGT said control of pollution of river Ganga will be incomplete without controlling pollution of all the tributaries and drains connected to it.
The green panal said the concerned five States may take further remedial action on the subject of preventing discharge of untreated sewage/effluents and compiling the relevant information about quantity of sewage being discharged in river Ganga and its tributaries.
It directed that progress reports may be furnished by the concerned five states to the NMCG on or before June 30, 2021 and NMCG may give its consolidated progress report with its recommendations to it by July 15, 2021 by e-mail.
It is a pity that even after constant monitoring by the Supreme Court for 34 years (1985-2014) and by this tribunal for the last six years and, 46 years after enactment of the Water Act making discharge of pollutants in waterbodies a criminal offence, pollutants continue to be discharged in the most holy river, the tribunal had said.
The issue of pollution of river Ganga was transferred to the NGT by the Supreme Court.PTI PKS RKS RKS