The National Green Tribunal has asked distilleries in Meerut not to discharge effluents in nearby drains joining river Kali East and strictly comply with environmental norms. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed beer brand Sabmiller India and United Spirits Ltd to adhere to recommendations made by a joint inspection team and warned them that failure to do would result in their closure.
“There are two industries in the catchment area of Abu nallah (drain)– Sabmiller India and United Spirits Ltd. Both these industries have been subjected to joint inspection and recommendations have been made. These industries will comply with the recommendations of the joint inspection team within three weeks…In the event of default they shall be liable to be closed down. The joint inspection team shall further be entitled to issue directions for compliance under the orders of the tribunal to these industries,” the bench, also comprising Justice Jawad Rahim, said.
Kali East originates from Antwada village in Muzaffarnagar district and flows through eight districts of Uttar Pradesh before its confluence with River Ganga near Kannauj. The NGT also directed the Environment Ministry and Central Pollution Control Board to ensure that industries located in the entire Ganga basin use non-cyanide zinc for electroplating industries so that they do not release pollutants in the river.
The green panel ordered immediate “removal, transport and disposal” of the waste in Abu Nala-1 drain in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. “Direction be also issued to the Meerut Development Authority to recycle this water of these sewage treatment plants for horticulture or allied purposes and reduce the extraction of ground water,” the bench said.
The green panel has divided the work of cleaning the river in different segments — Gomukh to Haridwar (Phase-I), Haridwar to Unnao (termed as segment B of Phase-I), Unnao to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to Bay of Bengal.