NGT on Water Pollution

Our water ecosystem has been subject to destruction by the growing urbanization and human intervention. Pollutants into the water bodies majorly impact the climate, aquatic organisms, plants, and also humans. The recent issue in Karnataka where active water pollution was reported in Kithiganahalli Lake has come to notice.

The National Green Tribunal has held the Karnataka state government and the Municipal Council of Bommasandra liable for allowing the discharge of pollutants into the water body and not taking necessary actions to prevent it. The NGT bench led by the chairman, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel has imposed aninterim penalty on an ad-hoc basis of Rs.10 lakh on the Karnataka government and also Rs.5 lakh on the Municipal council to be paid to the Central Pollution Control Board within a month.

The tribunal has set the State and the Municipal council to decide on the amount to be recovered from the officers who fouled up their duties. And the recovered amount will be utilized by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to restore the environment. Further, the State Pollution Control Board has been directed to commence prosecution and might adopt an immediate remedial action. It is also assignedfor prevention of pollutants discharged into the water bodies.

This action has been taken after hearing an application filed by Dr Sanjay Rao and others.An order for providing a factual and action taken report was given to Karnataka PCB on 25 September2019. The report was submitted on 18th February which contained all details regarding the discharge of sewage by the Municipal Council into the water body.

However, the bench dismissed the legal ground for writing the letter as it is incompliant with the law. This type of water pollution through sewage discharge is a violation of the provisions of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and solid waste in violation of the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Also, the activity is a criminal offence committed by the responsible officers for not preventing the discharge into water bodies.

To further read about the order, kindly click on the link below: