Ganga river pollution: All drains to be geo-tagged

01 May 2023

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered that all drains carrying discharge from villages located on the banks of the Ganga river be geo-tagged to prevent solid waste from flowing into the river.

The NGT said that the geo-tagged drains will be shared with urban local bodies, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and rural Swachh Bharat Mission (G) for initiating immediate action.

The NGT's order comes after a senior NMCG official informed the tribunal that due to the construction of a tunnel at Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand, debris was being dumped along the banks of the Ganga, which was causing an increase in the level of solid waste pollution in the river water.

The official also pointed out that at many locations along the banks of the Ganga, solid waste is being dumped, which is making its way into the river water.

"This is creating problems in treatment of the waste water at STPs (sewage treatment plants). In this regard, the secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, stated that funds under AMRUT 2.0 could be used to install screens and stop solid waste from making its way into the river water. He also sought cooperation from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in this regard," the NGT's order stated.

The NGT's order is a welcome step in the fight against Ganga river pollution. However, it remains to be seen how effectively the order will be implemented.

The NGT has also directed the chief secretaries of all states and Union territories to file further progress reports every six months. This will help the tribunal to monitor the implementation of its order and take necessary action if required.

The NGT's order is a reminder that solid waste management is a serious problem in India. The government needs to take urgent steps to address this problem and protect the environment.

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