The National Green Tribunal today issued bailable warrant against Kanpur municipal commissioner for non-appearance in a matter related to the cleaning of river Ganga.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the official to appear before it tomorrow, noting that despite directions he had not appeared before the tribunal.

While issuing warrant of Rs 25,000, the bench warned that if the departments which are collectively responsible for cleaning of the river do not stop giving illusionary answers, it may pass some strict order.

The bench, which is hearing the Ganga cleaning case on day-to-day basis for expeditious disposal, had earlier slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 each on officers of the Ministry of Water Resources and UP Jal Nigam for filing incorrect information on 30 drains joining the river Ganga in Garhmukteshwar area of Uttar Pradesh.

Earlier, the tribunal was told by an experts’ panel that the functional sewage treatment plants in the Garhmukteshwar area of Uttar Pradesh do not operate as the domestic sewage network is not connected to the main sewerage system.

A three-member committee set up by the NGT had said that the Garhmukteshwar stretch of the Ganga should receive special attention as it was the habitat of the critically-endangered Gangetic Dolphin, an indicator species for the river’s ecosystem.

In February, the bench had ordered a CBI probe into the execution of the Ganga cleaning project after it noted that Rs 31.82 crore was spent on two sewage treatment plants (STPs) and a 58-km long sewerage line project without due analysis and verification of the actual pollution load in the Garh drain and Brijghat drain.

NGT had slammed the state’s Jal Nigam for building the STPs on the drains joining Ganga without any survey and said it had wasted Rs 1500 crore since 1987 and still not cleaned “even a single drop” of the river.

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