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NGT declares 100m from edge of Ganga as "no-development zone"

13 July, 2017

National Green Tribunal (NGT) today passed a slew of directions to rejuvenate River Ganga, declaring as 'No-Development Zone' an area of 100 metres from the edge in the stretch between Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.  The NGT in its 543-page judgment said, there shall be no dumping of waste of any kind within 500 metres from the edge of River Ganga.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also declared that an environment compensation of 50,000 rupees will be imposed on anyone who dumps waste in the river.  The environment watchdog directed all authorities concerned to complete various projects including setting up of a sewage treatment plant and cleaning drains within two years.  It also said the Uttar Pradesh government should be duty-bound to shift tanneries within six weeks, from Jajmau in Kanpur to leather parks in Unnao or any other place it considers appropriate.
The NGT also directed the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand governments to formulate guidelines for religious activities on the ghats of Ganga or its tributaries. It said that all industrial units falling in the catchment area of river Ganga should be stopped from indiscriminate extraction of groundwater. The tribunal also appointed a supervisory committee, headed by the secretary of the Water Resources Ministry and comprising IIT professors and officials from UP government to oversee implementation of the directions passed in its verdict. It also asked the committee to submit reports at regular intervals. The tribunal had heard the arguments of the Centre, the UP government, pollution control boards and various other stakeholders for almost 18 months before reserving the judgement on 31st of May.

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