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Ganga water in Bengal declared unfit for bathing due to rise in faecal coliform bacteria

By Mahima Katal      29 February, 2024 12:49 PM      0 Comments
Ganga water in Bengal declared unfit for bathing due to rise in faecal coliform bacteria

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued a stern warning to authorities in West Bengal after finding the entire stretch of the Ganga River in the state unfit for bathing due to high levels of faecal coliform bacteria.

This discovery came to light during a hearing regarding the ongoing efforts to prevent, control, and reduce pollution in the Ganga River across various states.

Lack of sewage treatment infrastructure

Justice Prakash Shrivastava, Chairperson of the NGT bench, expressed deep concern after examining reports filed by the District Magistrates of several West Bengal districts, including North 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, Nadia, Malda, Hooghly, Purba Burdwan, Howrah, Purba Medinipur, and South 24 Parganas. The reports revealed a lack of adequate sewage treatment facilities across the state, with some districts, like Purba Medinipur, shockingly lacking even a single Sewage Treatment Plant (STP).

In an order passed on February 21, the bench said, it was "surprising" that not even a single Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) was set up in some districts like Purba Medinipur.

The green panel has also warned the West Bengal authorities of potential fines if they fail to demonstrate significant progress in tackling the issue of untreated sewage flowing into the Ganga.

It also directed the DMs of nine districts, through which the river's mainstream flowed, to file affidavits setting a deadline for achieving the target of 100 per cent treatment of sewage generated every day.

The DMs also have to disclose the manner and extent of utilisation of funds received from the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), besides steps taken for demarcation of floodplains in their districts, the tribunal said.

 

Also Read - 'NGT must tread carefully to avoid oversight of propriety,' SC criticises unilateral decisions-making



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