Order of the Supreme Court regarding discharge of untreated sewage into the Narmada Kund, Anuppur District, Madhya Pradesh, 02/08/2019
Order of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of Municipal Council, Amarkantak Vs Digamber Jain Regional Committee & Others dated 02/08/2019 regarding construction by Municipal Council of Amarkantak of a block of bio-toilets at a distance of about 70 meters from the Narmada Kund.
The NGT, through its order of March 12, 2019 had directed that the toilets should be be shifted “to say 100 meters or beyond”. The NGT order came in response of an application filed apprehending the discharge of untreated sewage into the Narmada Kund, Anuppur District, Madhya Pradesh.
The order of NGT was challenged in the SC by the Municipal Council, Amarkantak and they presented their submissions which informed the SC that the distance of construction was about 70 meters from the source of origin of Narmada Kund and the toilets are having bio remediation facilities, therefore there is no likelihood of any contamination at the source of river Narmada or anywhere in the near vicinity. Further, the Bio toilet system uses an anaerobic organism process to treat human excreta by composting or managed anaerobic decomposition. Counsel appearing on for the Municipal Council submits that all necessary precautions to ensure that the sewage does not flow into or contaminate the Narmada Kund. Also, an application has been submitted to the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board on May 6, 2019 for setting up an STP.
The SC directed the Pollution Control Board to process the application for setting up an STP within a period of three weeks and asked the Collector to ensure that periodic visits under his directions are conducted to ensure that the toilets are properly maintained and does not become a source of pollution. The SC keeping in mind the fact that setting up toilets is a necessity and the municipality has the duty to ensure that the devotees should have access to safe and hygienic toilets, set aside the NGT order of March 12 and April 9, 2019.