NGT fines civic bodies Rs 100 crore for polluting Ulhas, Waldhuni river
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed four civic bodies, along with the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), and operators of the Dombivli and Ambernath common effluent treatment plant to pay up over Rs 100 crore for the restitution and restoration of the polluted 122-km long Ulhas and Waldhuni river, reports.
City based NGO Vanashakti had inspected nearly 40 km of the river for pollution and filed an appeal at the NGT, on which the order was delivered.
In its order which was posted on the website on Monday, the NGT has directed several agencies to deposit the said amount with the divisional commissioner in the next four to six weeks.
Among other things, the order states that it is the chief secretary’s responsibility to ensure that the civic bodies install phased sewage treatment plants over the next two years. On failing to do so, the MPCB can take ‘credible legal action’ against the agencies. It also pointed out that the Dombivli area continues being polluted even after being termed ‘critically polluted’ back in 2010. It concludes that the reason for that is the MPCB and CPCB not functioning properly.
It also said that both the CPCB and the MPCB did not ‘utilize the provisions of the Water Act to prevent, control and abate pollution of water bodies in the Ulhas basin’.
While the Waldhuni river originates in the Ambernath hills, the Ulhas river originates in the Sahyadri hills at Karjat and then flows down to the Thane creek, where it meets the Arabian Sea.