Shahdara Drain that empties into Yamuna has to bear the brunt of, according to an estimate almost 400 million litres of industrial effluents and sewage every day as well as other litter. The issue had come under the lens of National Green Tribunal (NGT) that in a major order has asked the Chief Secretaries of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to file a report on pollution control measures, to stop the discharge from their side into Yamuna in 2 weeks.
Earlier the NGT had asked UP and Haryana to form full-time committees to look into measures and their implementation to stem the flow of pollution into these canals and drains and into Yamuna. But as it was not done the NGT in a damning indictment of the 2 states had expressly warned that if no report is filed in 2 weeks by Chief Secretaries it will not hesitate to employ coercive measures to do so. The NGT has also asked for formation of a committee comprising former Chief Secretary of Delhi and a former Member of National Green Tribunal.
The NGT order on October 26 came about on a petition by Sushil Raghav, a green activist and SPENBio, an NGO through its representative Akash Vashishtha another green activist, both residents of Ghaziabad.
Sushil Raghav told delhincrnews.in that 3 major sources pollute the Shahdara Drain before it enters Yamuna. The Eastern Yamuna Canal also known as Banthala Canal that originates from Yamuna Nagar in Haryana and passes via Baghpat, Loni and Johripur Chowk (Delhi) carrying industrial waste and sewage with it empties itself into Shahdara Drain. Secondly, Loni- Inderpuri Drain that was originally a storm water drain also empties its discharge into the Shahdara Drain and thirdly the storm water drain passing through Sahibabad near Country Inn Hotel starting from Haji Behtapur in Loni-Sahibabad-Vaishali-Ghazipur (Delhi) and finally meeting Shahdara Drain also empties its muck into this drain causing it to get polluted manifold.
The NGT while disposing of the matter also said that “as regard the issue raised in this application, we are of the view that the same can be referred to the Committee constituted by this Tribunal for Delhi itself. The applicant may furnish a complete set of papers before the said Committee forthwith,” which means that both the petitioners can approach the Delhi committee constituted by the NGT,” said Akash Vashishtha.
The green court also indicted UPSIDCL for its failure in setting up Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs). The order stated that “UPSIDCL has failed to install CEPT of adequate capacity at Site-IV industrial area, Sahibabad, G.T. Road industrial area, Loni Road Industrial Site II, Industrial areas in G.T. Road, Delhi-U.P. Border, Rajender Nagar as well as other industrial cluster/area within Ghaziabad district.”
The NGT also expressed displeasure at the undermining of the issue by the authorities. It said that “any person or authority responsible for such discharge of sewage or effluent is liable for action, including prosecution under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and also liable to pay damage, which is an action to be taken by the concerned Pollution Control Board. Unfortunately, there appears to failure of the authorities in performing their duties, undermining the rule of law.”
–Prasoon Pant, Consultant Editor, delhincrnews.in