Polluting industries in western UP: Committee begins inspection of water samples
On the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), a committee of experts has started inspecting water samples of 316 factory units in western Uttar Pradesh districts, including Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar.
The NGT ordered a survey by a joint team of officials from state agencies concerned on January 16 after a petitioner in the green court had contended that polluted water discharged by industries has led to contamination of surface and groundwater, as it is discharged directly into the Hindon and two of its tributaries, Krishni and Kali (west).
According to officials of the UP pollution control board (UPPCB), the highest number of such units — 170 — are in Ghaziabad, while there are 54 in Greater Noida. The inspections are being carried out in Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Meerut, Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli and Saharanpur where the Hindon and its tributaries flow.
“Inspections are being carried out by experts to check for groundwater contamination and 316 units are under the scanner. As soon as the inspection is complete, we will submit the reports to the tribunal,” AK Tiwari, regional manager, UPPCB, said.
The petition was filed by ‘Doaba Paryavaran Samiti’ and it contended presence of heavy metals in surface and groundwater in the districts.
The petitioner contended that therefore, it is necessary to have a complete survey of all industries in the catchment of river Hindon and its tributaries lying in the six districts in order to crystallise the role of each industry in contributing the contaminants to surface and groundwater.
In response, the NGT directed the formation of a committee, comprising of officials from the Central Pollution Control Board, UPPCB and UP Jal Nigam, and also directed the inclusion of AB Akolkar, ex-member secretary of the CPCB, as an expert member.
“They shall carry out joint inspections of 316 industries which are listed in the report dated October 29, 2015, and others as well to answer the queries posed and ascertain the contribution of each of the industries, in terms of the contaminants generated by them,” the tribunal had stated in its January 16 order.
The tribunal asked the committee officials to carry out an intensive survey of surface of rivers Hindon, Krishni and Kali and other small rivulets and drains meeting the Hindon, and groundwater in the districts.
The industrial units discharging effluents into river Hindon and its tributaries include sugar, distilleries, pulp and paper, strawboard, slaughterhouses and textiles, among others.