River pollution: NGT directs States to act

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River pollution: NGT directs States to act

News:

  1. Taking suo motu cognisance of  the increase in polluted river stretches in the country, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed all States and Union Territories to prepare action plans within two months.

Important Facts:

  1. The data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) stated that the number of polluted river stretches in the country had increased to 351 from 302 over the last two years.
  2. So the NGT suo motu noted the the situation to be far from satisfactory and directed action to restore the minimum prescribed standards for all the rivers of the country.

NGT Ruling:

  • Personal accountability: The tribunal specified that Chief Secretaries of each State and administrators of UTs will be “personally accountable for failure to formulate action plan.
  • Committee: The bench directed to constitute four-member committees, comprising representatives of State pollution control boards and the State governments for preparing and executing the action plans.
  1. Components of Action Plan:
  • Identification of polluting sources including functioning or status of sewage treatment plants, common effluent treatment plants, solid waste management and processing facilities.
  • Quantification and characterisation of sewage generated in the catchment area of the polluted river stretch.
  1. About NGT
  • The NGT was established in 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.
  • It aims to provide a specialized forum for effective and speedy disposal of cases pertaining to environment protection, conservation of forests.
  • It also provides for seeking compensation for damages caused to people or property due to violation of environmental laws or conditions specified while granting permissions.
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