New Delhi, Oct 7 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal has rapped the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) over improper maintenance of stormwater drains in the city and directed the Haryana chief secretary to monitor the cleaning work.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said there was no justification for constructing covered stormwater drains which may obstruct natural flow.
The NGT said the report submitted by GMDA does not show any arrangement to prevent untreated sewage being discharged into the drains till June, 2021 or even till December, 2021 till the proposed work of setting up capacity for treatment is completed.
'There is no other proposal for preventing untreated sewage from being discharged into the drains. Thus, the law will continue to be violated and untreated sewage continue to be discharged in water bodies, though it is criminal offence under the law of land and express violation of directions of the Supreme Court,' the bench said.
Further, the officers of the GMDA acknowledge that the sewage treatment plants are not compliant with regard to the Faecal Coliform norms and the sewage remains untreated and continues to be discharged into the water bodies, in violation of law, the tribunal noted.
'Let appropriate further steps be taken in the matter. For this purpose, we direct the Chief Secretary, Haryana to monitor the situation. The GMDA may have interaction with the CPCB for interim arrangements to deal with the issue. The Chief Secretary, Haryana and GMDA may furnish a report before the next date by e-mail,' the bench said.
GMDA in a report filed before the tribunal informed that discharging of untreated sewage will be stopped by June 30, 2021, which may be further delayed on account of the pandemic.
'Development of infrastructure is being done by the concerned Departments to ensure Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) in the main drains during dry weather, except treated waste water. Five STPs are in operation but still there is a gap which has to be bridged for which there is a plan to set up decentralized STPs and additional STPs, as per details mentioned.
'With regard to natural wetland, there is a proposal from the Jamia Millia Islamia University which requires 250 acres of land and Rs 40 crore of cost, in addition to the cost of land,' the report said.
The NGT had earlier directed the Haryana government to ensure that stormwater drains in Gurugram are not covered and kept clean to avoid flooding in the city during the monsoon.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Subhash Gupta and others challenging coverage of storm-water drains in Gurugram on the ground that it adversely affects the environment.
The applicants alleged that untreated sewage continues to flow in most of the drains and finally it goes into the rivers.
The plea contended that flooding happens in Gurugram city due to coverage of drains and environmental norms require that the drainage system should be open. PTI PKS SA