THREE MONTHS after former Allahabad High Court judge S U Khan resigned as chairman of a committee formed to monitor clean-up operations of Hindon River, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) Monday constituted a new three-member panel.
The four-member bench, led by NGT chairman A K Goel, said the panel would not only only monitor Hindon River pollution in western Uttar Pradesh, but also contamination of water bodies in Gorakhpur and solid waste management in the state.
It was hearing a case on Hindon river pollution filed by an NGO, Doaba Paryavaran Samiti.
The new committee will be headed by former Allahabad High Court judge S K Singh. Former Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Anup Chandra Pandey and an expert will assist Singh.
According to a petition filed by the NGO, industrial effluent discharged by industries has contaminated groundwater of 148 villages in Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddh Nagar. It has alleged that hundreds of people contracted water-borne diseases due to water pollution.
The new committee will also look into remedial action against contamination the Ramgarh lake, Ami River, Rapti River and Rohani River in and around Gorakhpur.
The petitioner in this case, Meera Shukla, has alleged that water pollution was affecting farmers and harming the environment. As many as 103 water bodies are under threat, according to the petition.
In July this year, Khan resigned as chairman of the Hindon monitoring committee, citing “non-cooperation” from the UP government.
“Authorities majorly responsible for compliance of the (NGT) directions are not assisting this monitoring committee and their approach is lackadaisical, which frustrates the basic project of the committee,” the S U Khan-led panel had told the NGT in February.