DAINIK NATION BUREAU
Union govenrment’s bid to clean Ganga river seems fizzled down here due to the lackadaisical attitude of district authorities and the Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB). Even after four months after the team of National Green Tribunal directed action against 125 earmarked hotels, Dharmshalas and Ashrams which are polluting the Ganga in Haridwar, the administration is silent over the issue.
It will be recalled that the NGT had issued an order during July in the previous year stating that installing Sewage Treatment Plant was mandatory for hotels and Dhramshalas which have more than 20 rooms. Inspite of the notices issued by the UEPPCB, these hotels were not adhering to the norms of the Tribunal and did not take ‘consent to operate’ from the pollution control board. Consequently in the month of October, the UEPPCB submitted a list of 125 such organisations to the NGT which were violating the norms.
The hotels and inns continue to discharge their waste in to the Ganga river without treatment. Still many hotels have not installed sewage treatment plants on their premises. Only four hotels were sealed in the previous year following the NGT orders in June-July period, which got relaxation following the court orders and installation of STPs within the stipulated time.
The then district magistrate Harbans Singh Chugh had formed a committee comprising of officials of Peyjal Nigam, Ganga conservation unit, municipal corporation and the pollution control board and other departments concerned under the leadership of the municipal commissioner. After a month of its formation, the first meeting of the committee was held in December 2016. As per the sources, it was decided in the meeting that a survey shall be carried out to ascertain the situation and draft afresh a list of non-complying organisations with further action taken against them, but nothing has occurred to alter the ground reality.
The municipal commissioner Ashok Panday said, “Only one meeting could be held of the officials due to other priorities. The previous report shall be examined and verified before taking any action. We hope to start the procedures soon,” he said.