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Uttarakhand pulled up for obsolete sewage pipes

The National Green Tribunal on Friday pulled up the Uttarakhand government for obsolete sewage pipes from Gomukh to Haridwar which were reportedly polluting the river Ganga.

“You should be ashamed of the defunct sewage lines. We have the pictures showing the sewer pipelines blocked. Is it not your duty to provide the proper sewage system to the districts near Ganga?” said a bench headed by NGT chairperson, Justice (retd.) Swatanter Kumar.

It asked the state government about quantum of funds allocated for treatment of water supply for the areas affected by the polluted water.

Meanwhile, the panel directed all the authorities concerned to come up with their proposals as well as the list of steps taken to clean the river in the first phase from Gomukh to Kanpur.

Justice Kumar further asked them to name locations where new sewage treatment plants (STPs) could be installed between Gomukh and Haridwar, and also furnish the financial liabilities in this regard.

The union environment and forest ministry was also asked to furnish details about the number of industries, hotels and ashrams operating in the region without its consent.

“Tell us how many industries with or without consent exists from Gomukh to Haridwar? What is their nature of business?” Justice Kumar asked.

He also observed that despite spending crores of rupees for cleaning the river, the situation has turned from bad to worse, and the central and state governments have only been shifting responsibility without doing anything concrete.

The bench fixed the next hearing for Monday.