Ensure minimum sewage discharge in Ganga, Yamuna before Kumbh Mela: NGT tells UP

“A perusal of the above report clearly reveals that there are as many as 44 untapped drains which are discharging untreated sewage water in river Ganga and the report further reveals that there are 81 drains in the city and these drains are discharging 289.97 million litres per day (MLD) of sewage and that the sewage received through sewerage network in the existing 10 STPs is 178.31 MLD,” the bench, also comprising judicial member justice AK Tyagi and expert member A Senthil Vel said.

In an order passed on 1 July, the bench also said that according to the report, the untapped drains were discharging 73.80 MLD of sewage and the gap in the treatment capacity was 128.28 MLD.

Expressing its dissatisfaction, the tribunal said, “The report does not reflect that during the forthcoming Kumbh Mela, any effective progress will be made to prevent the discharge of 73.80 MLD untreated sewage in river Ganga through the untapped drains which are 44 in number.”

The tribunal noted the submissions of the counsel for Uttar Pradesh about 17 of the 44 untapped drains being connected to existing STPs by November.

“Having regard to the fact that pilgrims or visitors of the Kumbh Mela will be taking baths in river Ganga and Yamuna and will be using their water for drinking etc, we are of the view that all possible effective and expeditious steps are required to be taken and a time-bound action plan is required to be prepared to ensure minimum discharge or stoppage of discharge of sewage in river Ganga and Yamuna before the commencement of the Kumbh Mela,” the green panel said.

It granted eight weeks to the state to file a further report on the progress.

“The authorities concerned will ensure that the water quality of rivers is maintained to the level of drinking quality and its suitability is displayed to pilgrims or visitors of the Kumbh Mela at various bathing ghats,” the tribunal said.

The matter has been listed to 23 September for further proceedings.

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