Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding water pollution by tanneries and chromium dumps at Rania, Kanpur Dehat, Rakhi Mandi, Kanpur Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, 15/11/2019
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of In Re : Water Pollution by Tanneries at Jajmau, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh WITH In Re : Water Pollution at Rania, Kanpur Dehat & Rakhi Mandi, Kanpur Nagar, Uttar Pradesh dated 15/11/2019.
This matter involves two issues. First issue relates to scientific disposal of chromium dumps at Rania, Kanpur Dehat and Rakhi Mandi, Kanpur Nagar which have been in existence since 1976 and have inter-alia resulted in contamination of ground water, depriving the inhabitants of access to drinking water. Second issue relates to legality of order dated 08.08.2019 passed by the Principal Secretary, Urban Development, Uttar Pradesh allowing Jal Nigam, Kanpur permitting discharge of untreated sewage containing toxic chromium directly into the river Ganga. Further issue is water pollution by tanneries discharging untreated industrial effluents containing toxic chromium into the irrigation canal through inadequately functioning CETP at Jajmau.
The NGT holds the state of Uttar Pradesh guilty of failing to take action for shifting the chromium dumps at Rania and Rakhi Mandi which has resulted in damage to the environment and public health from 1976 till date. Till the erring industries pay the compensation assessed by Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), the state itself has been ordered to pay the amount by way of transfer to an ESCROW account. Disposal of hazardous chromium has to be done as per the Tribunals order of August 22, 2019.
The NGT directed the state of Uttar Pradesh to pay an environmental compensation of Rs. 10 crores for damage to the environment for "permitting discharge of untreated sewage containing toxic Chromium into river Ganga directly vide its order dated 08.08.2019." The UPPCB has to pay a sum of Rs. 1 crore for ignoring illegal discharge of sewage and other effluent containing toxic chromium directly into river Ganga and taking action after a long time inspite of earlier proceedings before the Tribunal. Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam has been asked to pay a sum of Rs. 1 crore for releasing untreated large quantity sewage containing toxic chromium into river Ganga.
The amounts have to be deposited with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within one month and oversee by the Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh. Further, the state has been asked to provide potable water to the inhabitants of the area and a health survey of the inhabitants of the area has to be done by the Expert Committee within three months.
The CPCB has been ordered to issue directions to ensure that "no authority allows discharge of polluted sewage or polluted effluents directly into a water channel or stream in violation of law even in monsoon and also the standards for faecal coliform are duly maintained."