The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has come down heavily on the negligence by state authorities over the issue of dumping of bio-medical and other waste and discharge of untreated sewage into water bodies and the Bhoj Wetland in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
The NGT bench, headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, was hearing pleas related to the issue of damage to the Nawab Siddique Hasan Khan Talab and adjoining water bodies — Motia Talab and Munshi Hasan Talab in Bhopal.
The case of the applicant is that there is an indiscriminate flow of solid waste and bio-medical waste into the lakes in question. The bio-medical waste is discharged by the hospitals and medical facilities in the vicinity.
“We find the situation to be extremely unsatisfactory. There appears to be utter neglect of constitutional obligation by the State Authorities, to the prejudice of environment and public health. Dumping of bio-medical and other waste and discharge of untreated sewage into the water bodies is a great hazard to public health and (a) crime under the law of the land. Such water may be consumed by humans or other living beings and also used for irrigation, affecting food safety, apart from damaging the flora and fauna in the area, including the aquatic life. Discharge of sewage is also blatant contempt of Supreme Court directions,” read a recent order passed by the green court.
The order further said the lawlessness prevailing, as depicted from undisputed documents and findings in the reports of the statutory authorities, needs to be remedied on a war footing by taking stringent action, along with the involvement of higher authorities of the state, so as to enforce the rule of law, restore the environment and protect public health.
Also, the bench asked a Joint Committee to ensure compliance with the rule of law in the case. The committee has been directed to install CCTV cameras wherever found necessary. It has also been asked to restore the quality of water bodies by preventing dumping of waste and discharge of effluents/sewage. Water quality monitoring has to be done on a regular basis, exploring the possibility of keeping water bodies aerobic for maintenance of oxygen and for at least Class ‘C’ Water Quality criteria, it has been directed.
“We are also disappointed with the attitude so far adopted by the State Pollution Control Board in not levying realistic compensation as per the law laid down by the apex court,” the bench said.
Further, the NGT has directed the Chief Secretary, Madhya Pradesh, to file a consolidated action taken report mentioning the steps taken by various authorities within three months. (IANS)