Concerned over effluents discharged into the Ganga and the Yamuna, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) to conduct a joint inspection of "seriously polluting industries" on the bank of both the rivers.
A bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, directed the joint committee comprising members of both the pollution control boards to submit a report on different categories of industrial clusters and their location. "We direct the CPCB and the UPPCB to conduct a joint inspection of all the... seriously polluting industries which have not installed any anti-pollutant devices.
"Besides this, the joint committee shall bring in the report on the industrial clusters of different categories and their location, particularly where they are situated on the banks of the river Ganges and the river Yamuna, as the case may be," the bench said.
The bench also directed the committee to give a separate list of all the sugar and distillery units functioning on the banks of the two rivers and say whether they are discharging their effluents into the river.
The green bench asked the committee to submit, in its report, the water source of the industries and the extent of the effluent discharge.
The NGT had on April 22 warned the CPCB and the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board that it would pass "coercive orders" if effective steps were not taken to control pollution due to effluents discharged by sugar mills and a dairy firm in the river Ganga.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by UP resident Krishan Kant Singh who contended that the stretch of Ganga from Garmukteshwar to Narora was being polluted due to discharge of highly toxic and harmful effluents by the sugar mill as well as the dairy firm.
The petition had also said that the effluents released into the river were not only contaminating the water but also threatening endangered aquatic species like dolphins and turtles.
It had also stated that according to a report prepared last year after testing the waters of the river, the levels of effluents like solid suspended matter, oil, grease and others were way above the permissible norms.
Singh in his petition had also alleged that the ground water in the areas surrounding the sugar mills and the dairy firm have been contaminated due to their discharge.