Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding discharge of municipal waste from Trimbak into river Godavari, Maharashtra, 18/05/2022

  • 18/05/2022

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Dr. Kiran Ramdas Kamble & Others Vs State of Maharashtra dated 18/05/2022.

Question for consideration is the remedial action for failure of the Municipal Council Trimbak and other concerned authorities of the state of Maharashtra in preventing discharge of municipal waste into river joining Godavari, in violation of judgement of the Supreme Court in Paryavaran Suraksha v. UOI, (2017) 5 SCC 326.

The matter has been considered six times earlier in the last more than two years. "Each time finding apathy and noncompliance on the part of the authorities, directions were issued for remedial action but unfortunately the situation remained unremedied to the detriment of environment and public health, forcing living beings to drink contaminated water with potential for water associated diseases at times leading to deaths, in flagrant violation of Constitutional mandate and binding directions of Hon’ble Supreme Court and this Tribunal, with no coercive action against such serious violators," read the NGT order comprising the bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel, Sudhir Agarwal and Arun Kumar Tyagi.

The NGT, vide its previous order, February, 11, 2022 had reviewed the status of compliance in the presence of the Principal Secretary, Urban Development of the state and in the light of the report of the Municipal Council, Trimbak. From the reports it was clear that violations were continuing and untreated sewage was being directly discharged into river Godavari.

The Chief Secretary, Maharashtra informed the court, May 18, 2022 that the STP is now working and steps have been taken for augmentation of its capacity, interim compensation has been deposited, ecotechnology has been adopted as interim measure and ozonization technology has been finalized as a permanent measure for treatment of effluents for which work order has been issued. Action has been taken against some of the erring officers. Gap in generation of effluents and treatment capacity is proposed to be bridged by installing pre-fabricated STP and taking temporary measures. It is also stated that no untreated sewage will henceforth be discharged into the Godavari.

The Green Tribunal, May 18 taking into consideration the affidavit filed on behalf of the Chief Secretary, Maharashtra said that no further action appears to be necessary at this stage except that the compensation deposited be utilized by the Collector, Nashik for restoration of environment in accordance with the District Environment Plan. Further, steps be taken to ensure connectivity to the STP to fully utilize its capacity. Plan be prepared for utilizing the treated water for secondary purposes, consistent with the directions of this Tribunal on the subject. The CPCB has been asked to verify compliance status as on November 30, 2022.