NGT directs Haryana to stop overflow of sewage on Delhi Agra highway in 3 months

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New Delhi, Jul 12 (PTI)The National Green Tribunal Monday directed the Haryana government to stop within three months overflow of sewage on the stretch of Delhi-Agra highway and warned of coercive action in case of failure.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the overflowing of sewage from the Seekri village on the highway depicts a clear failure of the authorities in upholding the right of the citizens to clean and safe environment.

“The issue was highlighted in the media more than one year back and the tribunal passed first order on January 7 last year. It is difficult to accept that for one and a half year even the issue of tender could not be finalised, even though matter is of such great urgency. “The plea that there was a single tender or no person was available to execute the work shows lack of awareness about the concern for environment. No prohibition against award of work to a single tenderer has been brought to our notice. There is also no prohibition of the work of such an urgent nature being executed departmentally,” the bench said.

The tribunal said giving of long timelines, without any firm commitment is also a matter of concern and failure of the concerned authorities in the matter. “Thus, a case is made out for taking coercive measures against the concerned officers for such serious failure and attitude. “However, by way of last opportunity, we grant three months' time for meaningful remedial measures, failing which the Tribunal will be left with no other option except to proceed personally against the Additional Chief Secretary, Development and Panchayat Department, Haryana, who should be in a position to remedy the situation,” the bench said.

The NGT also directed the Additional Chief Secretary, Development and Panchayat Department, Haryana to remain present in person via video conference with compliance status on December 7, the next date of hearing.

The tribunal passed the order after taking cognisance of news article published in an English newspaper report which highlighted that sewage from Seekri village in Faridabad District in Haryana is over flowing on to the service road and on the stretch of Delhi-Agra highway.

The plea said that flooded road hampers the movement of vehicles, emits foul smell, causes water borne diseases and accidents on the highway.

“Pipeline and drains get frequently choked due to dumping of garbage in the open drain, leading to over flowing of sewage to the service road,” the plea said. PTI PKS RKS RKS

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