Vadodara-based Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) has issued legal notices to various officials of the union and state governments, the Central Pollution Control Board, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), Gujarat’s chief secretary, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and Ahmedabad’s district collector asking them to implement orders of the Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal or face contempt of court
In all, PSS’s Rohit Prajapati has sent notices to as many as 12 central and state government officials, calling them “culprits’’ for not implementing the Supreme Court’s order of February 22, 2017 and the National Green Tribunal’s orders of September 3, 2018 and February 2, 2019.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Prajapati said, “This is highly shocking that no one, neither the government bodies nor the private industrialists, are implementing the directions of the Supreme Court to save the river from further pollution.”
In his notice, Prajapati warned, “If you don’t act now, your inaction shall be considered as non-compliance of the Honourable Supreme Court order, dated February 22, 2017, in our PIL-Writ Petition (Civil) No. 375 of 2012 and may invite further necessary action against all culprits.”
The Apex court and the NGT have directed industries and the municipal corporation not to release untreated effluents into the Sabarmati river.
The Supreme court’s order came on a PIL – Writ Petition (Civil) No. 375 – filed by PSS in 2012.
A joint inspection of the river in March this year by PSS’s Prajapati, two regional officers of GPCB and an advocate practicing in the Gujarat High Court found that untreated effluent continued to be released into the river from Ahmedabad till the Bay of Khambat where the river drains into the Arabian Sea.
Prajapati said the river had nearly dried up before it reached Ahmedabad and it carried stagnant polluted and stinking water along the riverfront between Sabarmati Ashram and Vasna barrage. After Vasna barrage, the river carried untreated effluents released into it by industries and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, in flagrant violation of the apex court order and directions of the NGT.