Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding pollution of river Hooghly through Barjola canal from industries, 12/07/2023

  • 12/07/2023

Order of the National Green Tribunal (Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata) in the matter of Ankur Sharma Vs The State of West Bengal & Others dated 12/07/2023.

The matter related to the alleged draining of toxic effluents into the river Hooghly at Sarenga through Barjola canal, also known as Sarenga canal, owned by the Department of Irrigation and Waterways, West Bengal, by hundreds of industrial units located at Jalan Industrial Complex.

The complainant said that the industrial units include dyeing and bleaching factories, galvanizing factories, foundry units, chemical manufacturing units and the untreated and toxic effluents of these factories are being drained directly into the river Hooghly causing massive pollution. It is alleged that the canal also spills over effluents in nearby waterbodies and farm lands, particularly in Abada Ghoraghat area, thereby destroying the fertility of the soil as well as the ecology of the waterbodies which become contaminated with toxic chemicals.

Complaints have been made by the applicant to the various departments and authorities but till date no action has been taken.

The NGT directed a five member committee to visit the site and carry out inspection of the entire stretch of the Barjola/Sarenga canal. The committee has been ordered to submit a report along with suggestions for remedial measures. The committee was entrusted to identify the violating industries. Action must be taken against those industries found violating environmental norms  including determination of environmental compensation.