New Delhi, Aug 10 () In a bid to expedite cleaning of the Ganga, the National Green Tribunal today directed the Uttarakhand government to demarcate flood plains of the river from Gomukh to Roorkee in the state and submit a compliance report in this regard.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar which favoured strict timelines for the demarcation of flood plains in the state, also sought report on the total number of hotels in this stretch from the Harish Rawat government.
A flood plain is an area of land adjacent to a stream or river that stretches from the banks of its channel to the base of the enclosing valley walls and experiences flooding during periods of high discharge.
The green panel also allowed the state government to seek the assistance of Roorkee-based National Institute of Hydrology for identification of flood plains.
“The state government shall inform the tribunal whether cities including Haridwar, Rishikesh, Joshimath, Roorkee located on the stretch from Gomukh to Roorkee have installed sewage treatment plants or not,” the bench, also comprising Justice M S Nambiar, said.
The order came after the state government informed the green panel that it has not been able to finalise a detailed flood plain map and sought one-year time to complete the exercise.
The tribunal has now posted the matter for next hearing on this aspect on October 20.
The tribunal had earlier directed the National Mission for Clean Ganga, the implementing wing for rejuvenation of the river, to apprise it about the expenditure details of the Rs 20,000 crore budget granted to it for cleaning and protection of Ganga.
It had also issued notices to the Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal governments to explain how they propose to deal with the pollution caused in the river flowing through their jurisdiction and submit an action plan in this regard.
The green panel has divided the work of cleaning the river into different segments — Gomukh to Haridwar, Haridwar to Kanpur, Kanpur to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to Bay of Bengal.
On December 11 last year, the tribunal had imposed a complete ban on use of plastic of any kind from Gomukh to Haridwar along the river from February 1 and decided to slap a penalty of Rs 5,000 per day on erring hotels, dharamsalas and ashrams spewing waste into the river. PKS RKS ZMN.