The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) to adopt best economical practices per the guidelines of Ministry of Housing Urban Affairs (MoHUA) to curb water pollution in 93 villages adjoining Greater NOIDA which are practically part of urban area.
In the interest of public health, the Green Court said, the residents may be persuaded to have sewage connections and the authorities may explore levying charges against all the residents so that connections are not avoided for saving the charges. The entire exercise has to be completed in a time-bound manner, preferably within three months, the court directed.
Akash Vashishtha, Advocate and Counsel for the petitioners Karamvir Singh and Pradeep Kumar, submitted to the court that there are only 16 faecal sludge removing points for 80 villages, which were by no means, adequate. At least one such point for a cluster of 5 villages must be considered by the Greater Noida Authority, they submitted.
"The septage tanks installed by households were unscientific and improper, being next to hand pumps and borewells, giving strong possibility of contamination of the ground water. This must be looked into," Vashishtha informed the court. "The condition of these villages is critically poor. Streets are perpetually filled with sewage and villagers are continuously battling with pollution," he said.
NGT noted that due to the blockage of storm water drains with solid waste, plastic waste, construction and demolition waste or other kinds of waste in storm water drains in these villages, the sewage/wastewater spills over to the roads, causing them to break away frequently and causing recurring wear and tear of the roads. Villagers are compelled to clean their sewage/wastewater filled drains themselves and drink polluted water as most of them cannot afford purifying RO or other systems.
The Court said that proper drainage system needs to be ensured to prevent overflow of sewage up to the natural ponds. Ponds need to be protected and kept free from pollution. The NGT noted that all villages have been provided with internal drainages but are yet to be connected to main sewer line which ultimately has to reach established 174 million litres per day (MLD) Sewage Treatment Plants (STP).
The Court further found that only 110-120 MLD is treated against the 174 MLD installed capacity. “It is utmost necessary that all households and other establishments are connected to sewers to make use of laid sewer line otherwise, it will remain defunct. No waste water be allowed to go into pond and within three months, the ponds in question be remediated and water quality be improved,” the court said in the order.
The NGT has directed the agencies to explore decentralised sewerage mechanism with the provision of having one faecal sludge receiving point for each village and the septage management to be monitored by statutory regulators.
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