The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to take strict measures to prevent the discharge of sewage effluents to water bodies, stressing the stormwater drains, canals and water bodies need to be geo-tagged and given Unique Identification (UID).
"CPCB may issue appropriate directions to all PCBs/PCCs within two months, to give effect to section 24 of the Water Act, to the effect that Canals, water bodies (lentic or lotic), and the Natural Storm water drains are not to be used for discharge of treated or untreated trade or sewage effluents. The storm water drains, canals, and water bodies need to be geo-tagged and given UID," the principal bench of the tribunal headed by Justice (retd) Adarsh Kumar Goel said in a recent order.
The direction came during the hearing of a plea regarding the remedial action for preventing untreated sewage going to the 'irrigation canal', which joins the Yamuna and then Ganga, in Sector 137, NOIDA.
As per the plea, sources of such discharge include non-functional/deficient STPs in 95 high-rise buildings in Noida, industries, and wastewater from upstream from Delhi and Ghaziabad.
Among the remedial action, the green court said, the authorities concerned should be monitored at the highest level by the Chief Secretaries, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi directly or through any appropriate mechanism. It is necessary to determine accountability for the past failures causing huge damage to the environment and public health and to meet the cost of remediation, it said.
The Chief Secretaries of Delhi and UP will be free to identify the erring officers in the process and take remedial action and recover compensation from such erring officers/violators, including the group housing societies, the order said further.