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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Just four of 107 UP villages hit by groundwater pollution got piped supply in a year: NGT panel

The committee, headed by former High Court judge SVS Rathore, criticised the UP chief secretary for not fulfilling his promise to supply water to the villages through tankers as an interim measure.

Written by Shivnarayan Rajpurohit | New Delhi | Updated: August 10, 2020 10:45:24 pm
Polluted water Hindon led to contamination of groundwater in west UP villages. (Photo: File)

An oversight committee formed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has pulled up the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam for failing to provide piped water supply to villages in western UP affected by groundwater contamination due to the toxic Hindon river and its tributaries.

In its report submitted to the NGT on July 30, the panel said that of the 148 affected villages in Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Meerut, Saharanpur and Ghaziabad, only 41 have been provided piped water supply till July 2019. Expressing surprise, the committee said only four of the remaining 107 villages had been connected with the supply network since then.
“Despite repeated directions by Hon’ble NGT and this committee, the UP Jal Nigam has not ensured piped water supply in [all] 148 affected villages. Till date, piped water supply has been ensured only in 45 villages. In July 2019, this figure was 41 villages. Thus only four villages have been provided piped water in one year’s time,” the panel said. Its observations were part of an NGT order passed on Friday.

The committee, headed by former High Court judge SVS Rathore, criticised the UP chief secretary for not fulfilling his promise to supply water to the villages through tankers as an interim measure.

“Not a single village has been provided water through tankers till now despite written assurance to NGT by Chief Secretary on 20.10.19,” the committee said in the report dated July 30.

On the installation of three sewage treatment plants (STPs), the panel said, “There has been no physical progress in installation of any of three STPs proposed in the last one year. No action has been taken against any negligent officer despite directions of Hon’ble NGT. Performance Guarantee of Rs 5 Crore directed by Hon’ble NGT on 15.3.19 has yet to be deposited…”

The green tribunal asked the chief secretary to comply with the committee’s recommendations and ensure coordination among various departments for the restoration of Hindon river and its tributaries.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Doaba Paryavaran Samiti in 2014. The matter will be next heard on February 2, 2021.

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