NGT seeks report on Ganga clean-up: 

NGT seeks report on Ganga clean-up

Context

  • The National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh and the Uttarakhand governments to file affidavits stating instructions to clean the Ganga in the stretch between Gomukh and Unnao.

What are the instructions directed by the NGT?

  • The green panel had passed a slew of directions to rejuvenate the Ganga, declaring as ‘No Development Zone’ an area of 100 metres from the edge of the river between Haridwar and Unnao
  • It has further strictly prohibited the dumping of waste within 500 meters from the river.
  • A bench headed by NGT Chairperson has asked all the stakeholders to state the course of action between Phase-2 from Kanpur to the U.P. border.

What will happen if the implementation is not done?

  • NGT has sent a copy of the order to be provided to the chief secretaries of U.P. and Uttarakhand
  • Another copy of this order shall sent to DG of National Mission for Clean Ganga; Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources and Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for compliance

How severe is the issue of pollution of Ganga?

  • Pollution of the Ganga poses significant threats to human health and the larger environment
  • Ganges is considered to be the fifth most polluted river in the world
  • A 2006 measurement of pollution in the Ganga revealed that river water monitoring had demonstrated fecal coliform counts up to 100,000,000 MPN

What are the major causes of pollution in Ganga?

  • The main causes of water pollution in the Ganga river are:

Industrial waste

  • Dumping of various harmful industrial waste into the river.

Human waste

  • A large proportion of the sewage water with higher organic load in the Ganges is from this population through domestic water usage.

Industrial waste

  • Industrial effluents are about 12% of the total volume of effluent reaching the Ganga. Although a relatively low proportion, they are a cause for major concern because they are often toxic and non-biodegradable.

The increase in the population density

  • Various human activities (such as bathing, washing clothes, and the bathing of animals)

Religious traditions

  • During festival seasons, over 70 million people bathe in the Ganga to clean themselves from their past sins.
  • Some materials like food, waste or leaves are left in the Ganga which are responsible for its pollution.

About NGT

  • National Green Tribunal was set up under National Green Tribunal Act,2010 with an aim to provide protection to environment,conservation of forests and other natural resources along with enforcement of legal rights for environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property.
  • NGT since its inception have taken various steps in order to reduce the menace of pollution and other activities adversely impacting the environment.

Some of the recent steps by the tribunal include order of

  • banning diesel vehicles older than 10 years in the national capital along with
  • ban on burning of solid waste.These steps have been taken owing to the rising pollution levels which is evident from the the list of most polluted cities where the national capital stands on the top.
  • cancellation of coal block clearance in Hasdee-Arand forests overriding central government’s decision,
  • Sterlite case and Meghalaya  mining.
  • Yamuna Conservation ZoneOn 25 April 2014, the NGT said that the health of Yamuna will be affected by the proposed recreational facilities on the river. The NGT also recommended the Government to declare a 52 km stretch of the Yamuna in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh as a conservation zone.[11]

Coal Blocks in Chhattisgarh ForestsThe National Green Tribunal has cancelled the clearance given by the then Union Environment and Forests Minister, Jairam Ramesh, to the Parsa East and Kante-Basan captive coal blocks in the Hasdeo-Arand forests of Chhattisgarh, overruling the statutory Forest Advisory Committee.

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