The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered the Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand to consider a complaint alleging the dumping of untreated waste into the Ganges River in Rishikesh and ensure proper arrangements to establish the necessary sewage treatment plants in the state.
A bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, chairman of NGT, noted the submission of the petitioner that municipal corporation officials were using a tap outside a toilet complex on the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh to take bath and wash vehicles.
The court order came in a request seeking the implementation of the NGT Order dated January 3, 2022, directing the Government of Uttarakhand not to dump untreated waste into the Ganges River or its tributaries.
The NGT had previously said that in addition to an awareness program, a monitoring cell must be established at the level of each municipality to ensure that there is no untreated waste in the river.
“All the Ganga bank towns and villages need to follow septage protocols as well as norms applicable to the flood protection zones. Evacuation from septic tanks must be linked to the pre-identified STPs,” it had said.
The address came after resolving a petition filed by Vipin Nayyar against construction works in the floodplain of the Ganges River.
The petition said that the Rishikesh Municipal Corporation was illegally building toilets in the floodplain and dumping untreated waste into the Ganges.
The Plea noted that no sewage treatment centre has been built for waste treatment.
The tribunal had directed that the arrangement in question should be interim and not treated as a precedent and shifted to an appropriate location, where construction is legally allowed.
“Till alternative arrangement is made, septic tanks be regularly cleaned and maintained to ensure that no untreated sewage is discharged into the river or in the open,” the NGT had said.
The NGT has also asked for a petition report alleging the unregulated extraction of water from Lake Mussoorie by private hotels in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.