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The implementation of Ganga Action Plans I and II have been disasters. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) bench has taken up the PIL of public interest attorney MC Mehta and has been hearing various government authorities such as CPCB, UP Pollution Control Board and Ministry of Environment & Forests.

All agencies have so far presented conflicting figures regarding the total number of drainage outlets. The bench has to decide whether the leather industry at Jajmau in Kanpur, which is on bank of river Ganga, needs to be shifted away or not.

The Advocate General of State of Uttar Pradesh has made its stand clear that the state does not want those industries to be shifted anywhere.

With the National Green Tribunal getting tough, all officials summoned have been, from March 8, presenting themselves promptly at court. On Wednesday, the General Manager of Kanpur Nagar Nigam summoned, he was present Thursday.

Here is how the questioning went at court on March 9:

Bench: “What was the total amount of sludge taken out, especially from “permia” drain in Kanpur?”

GM: “More than 35 thousand tonnes.”

Bench: “When did you start taking out sludge and where did you put that sludge?”

GM: “March 15 to July 15 and thrown here and there wherever we found free space.”

Bench: “Mr Additional Municipal Commissioner, you submitted yesterday that sludge was thrown at a specific dumping site? Do one thing, both GM and Additional Municipal Commissioner, pay Rs 25,000 cost and will be recovered from your salary.”

The bench its order stated: “After the information provided by the various authorities we direct issuance of showcause notice to the commissioner Kanpur Nagar Nigam, MD UP Jal Nigam, GM UP Jal Nigam Kanpur, General Manager, Kanpur Jal Sansthan. Why the Tribunal should not direct environmental compensation for causing environmental degradation, furthermore, by adding serious pollutants to the river Ganga. Reply to the notice to be filed within two weeks from today.”

Matter adjourned to be listed on March 28.

—India Legal Bureau

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