The National Green Court has imposed a cost of Rs 100 crore on the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) for failing to control the discharge of untreated sewage into the sewers directly into the Yamuna River.
A bank headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goyal also imposed a fine of Rs 50 crore on the Delhi Jal Board.
The court noted that out of 95 joint housing corporations in Noida, 56 have sewage treatment facilities or partial treatment facilities and untreated sewage directly goes into the drain.
“There are designated authorities entrusted with the task of stopping it (untreated sewage) but they have failed to prevent such pollution despite several directions of this Tribunal in the last about four years in the light of the reports of the Committees appointed by the Tribunal after ascertaining the factual status on the ground,” the bench said.
Regarding the establishment of the environmental cell, the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (Noida) informed the NGT that it cannot be set up as the professional recruitment process is not complete.
“Further report of NOIDA does not show any noticeable change, except that work of wetland is said to have been awarded in respect of drains but the water quality of the said drains is not meeting the standards,” the bench noted.
It directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to issue appropriate instructions to all pollution control boards within two months.
The NGT said that corrective action should be taken by the authorities concerned and monitored at the highest level by the Chief Secretaries of 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 added.
“Pending consideration of action against other authorities and final accountability of NOIDA Authority and DJB, they are directed to deposit respectively a sum of ₹100 crore and ₹50 crore in a separate account with CPCB towards interim compensation to be utilised for restoration measures,” the bench said.
The court said that the chief secretaries of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh will be free to identify the erring officers in the process and take remedial action and recover compensation from such erring officers/violators, including group housing societies.
“Further action taken reports be filed within three months by the chief secretaries, Delhi and UP after coordinating with authorities in their respective States and by Chairman, CPCB by e-mail,” it said.
The court was hearing a plea filed by Abhishta Kusum Gupta, a resident of Noida, against the disposal of sewage in the Sector 137 irrigation canal.