NGT forms panel to take remedial action regarding ‘highly polluted’ drain from Sonipat to Delhi

 The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday formed a panel to “verify the factual position” and “take appropriate remedial action on an urgent basis” while hearing a petition seeking directions to the authorities for dredging or cleaning a drain passing from Sonipat in Haryana to Delhi.

It also issued notices to authorities, including the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) chief executive officer and the Haryana chief secretary.

The green panel was hearing a petition that claimed that the drain — passing from Sonipat via the Barota and Piau Maniyari villages in Haryana to Delhi — was filled with trash, silt and sludge because of which it leached and overflew into another drain merging into the Yamuna river.

Besides, the “highly polluted wastewater” reached the national capital, forcing the closure of water treatment plants in Delhi, the petition claimed.

A bench of Judicial Member Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi and Expert Member A Senthil Vel said, “We consider it appropriate that a joint committee be constituted to verify the factual position and take appropriate remedial action on an urgent basis.”

“Accordingly, we constitute a joint committee comprising the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Central Pollution Control Board, Haryana State Pollution Control Board and DJB and direct the same to meet within one week, undertake visits to the site ,” the bench added.

The committee has to submit a factual and action-taken report within a month, it said.

The tribunal also sought a response from the DJB chief executive officer, Haryana chief secretary, the state’s engineer-in-chief in the irrigation and flood control department, the state’s Pollution Control Board and the Sonipat district magistrate.

The matter has been posted for further proceedings on November 8.

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