New Delhi, Feb 25: The National green tribunal has directed the Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) to devise an appropriate mechanism for more effective monitoring of steps for control of pollution and rejuvenation of all polluted river stretches in the country.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said there has been continuous failure of statutory mechanism for preventing pollution of water and hardly any accountability has been fixed for such serious failures.
"MoJS may devise an appropriate mechanism for more effective monitoring of steps for control of pollution and rejuvenation of all polluted river stretches in the country.
"The said mechanism may be called "National River Rejuvenation Mechanism" (NRRM) or given any other suitable name. NRRM may also consider the observations with regard to setting up of National/State/District Environment Data Grid at appropriate levels as an effective monitoring strategy," the bench, also comprising Justice S K Singh, said.
The tribunal directed that chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories must work in mission mode for strict compliance of timeliness for commencing new projects and completing ongoing projects.
"Other steps in terms of action plans for abatement of pollution and rejuvenation of rivers be taken effectively. The process of rejuvenation of rivers need not be confined to only 351 stretches but may be applicable to all small, medium and big polluted rivers, including those dried up," the tribunal said.
It directed the chief secretaries of all states and UTs to personally monitor progress at least once every month and the NRRM every quarter and reiterated that accountability for failure to comply with the direction for payment of compensation will be of the concerned chief secretaries.
The NGT had earlier formed a Central Monitoring Committee to prepare and enforce a national plan to make over 350 river stretches across the country pollution free.
The tribunal had said that there has been deterioration in quality of water in rivers in spite of the Water Act which was enacted way back in 1974 which was intended to bring about improvement.
The green panel's direction came after taking note of an article in an English newspaper.
According to the news item, 351 polluted river stretches have been noted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and 117 such stretches are in the states of Assam, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. The CPCB has apprised the concerned states of the extent of pollution in the rivers. - PTI