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NGT fines Prayagraj for delaying status report on sewage discharge into Ganga, Yamuna

Joint Committee failed to submit the report as required by the order dated February 7

Written by  Shefali Kohli -- May 23rd 2024 01:23 PM
NGT fines Prayagraj for delaying status report on sewage discharge into Ganga, Yamuna

NGT fines Prayagraj for delaying status report on sewage discharge into Ganga, Yamuna

NGT fines Prayagraj : The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a fine of Rs 20,000, on the District Magistrate, Paryagraj for the delay in filing a status report regarding the discharge of sewage water in rivers Ganga and Yamuna and also improper and unplanned extraction of river water.

In an order passed on February 7, 2024, the Tribunal established a five-member Joint Committee with the District Magistrate of Prayagraj as the nodal agency. The Green Tribunal directed this Committee to inspect all drains flowing into the Ganga and Yamuna rivers, as well as all sewage treatment plants (STPs) discharging into these rivers.


The District of Prayagraj was instructed to conduct on-site inspections, collect samples of untreated water discharges, analyze these samples, gather information on the functioning of the STPs, and submit a report to the Tribunal at least one week before the next hearing date of March 13, 2024.

However, the Tribunal noted that the Joint Committee failed to submit the report as required by the order dated February 7.

Taking note of the communication of the District Magistrate, Prayagraj, the Tribunal had granted a further six weeks to file the report, failing which the District Magistrate, Prayagraj was to remain virtually present. 

Despite an extended period of six weeks, no report was filed. It was brought to our attention that a report was submitted just a day before, but it was defective. The conduct of the District Magistrate of Prayagraj has led to non-compliance with the Tribunal's order and has allowed untreated sewage to continue flowing into the Ganga and Yamuna rivers, causing a deterioration in water quality. As a result, we are imposing a fine of Rs 20,000 on the District Magistrate, Prayagraj, which must be deposited with the Registrar General of the Tribunal within two weeks. The Counsel for the District Magistrate has requested, and been granted, an additional two weeks to correct the report so it can be officially recorded, the Tribunal stated.

The Tribunal issued this direction on May 21 while hearing a petition concerning the discharge of sewage into the Ganga and Yamuna rivers, as well as the improper and unplanned extraction of river water. The petition expressed concerns that there might not be enough clean water available for the next Kumbh Mela in 2024-2025.

According to the status report filed by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) recently, the estimated sewage generation is 500 mld against which sewage treatment plants are set up to treat 340 mld and this capacity is under expansion to have facility for 533 mld.

Further, for 41 drains, interception and diversion to STPs is yet to be achieved and this indicates that at least 67.82 mld of treated sewage is flowing through River Ganga and Yamuna, further noted by the Tribunal.

Noted the submissions from the status report of respondents authorities, the bench headed by Justice Prakash Shrivastava said, "In order to ascertain the correct position, we need to have the report relating total generation of sewage, existing installed STPs and their current level of utilization and functioning/ performance of STPs from which treated water is discharged in River Ganga and Yamuna at Paryagraj."

The committee was directed to inspect all the drains joining River Ganga and Yamuna and all the STPs from which discharge is being made to River Ganga and Yamuna in District Paryagraj, directed the bench. 

- With inputs from agencies

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