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NGT asks Gujarat govt to form committee to halt environmental damage of Tapi river in Surat

By Our Representative
Taking serious view of “illegal construction activities, dumping of waste, dredging, digging, illegal discharge of effluents and absence of demarcation of blue line and red line in the river bed by the Irrigation Department” in the area of Tapi river in Surat, Gujarat, the National Green Tribunal (NTG), New Delhi, has directed the state government to form an official-level committee to halt the “damage” it is causing to the environment.
The five-person committee, NTG said, should comprise of “representatives” of the Secretary, Irrigation Department of Gujarat; Gujarat State Pollution Control Board (GPCB); Secretary, Urban Development and Housing Department of Gujarat; district collector, Surat; and the Surat municipal commissioner “to review and coordinate” necessary measures.
At the same time, even as calling Tapi river “one of the polluted river stretches in the State of Gujarat”, NGT in its order in the Nav Yuva Sanghatan & Ors vs Secretary, Narmada, Water Resources, Water Supply and Kalpsar Department, Gujarat government, said, “We direct the Chief Secretary, Gujarat, to look into the matter” in order to “check illegal discharge, prevent illegal construction, clearing the drainage waste of the river and other restoration measures.”
The five-member committee, said NGT, should hold its first meeting within two weeks, even as taking up for consideration all the issues, including issue of demarcation of the river bed into blue line and red line and inviting public participation, undertaking public education programmes on the river’s pollution.

Comments

South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People said…
How is a committee of govt officials set up by NGT for Tapi river destruction going on in Surat help, when all these officials have been part of the problem, not solutions: "The five-person committee, NTG said, should comprise of 'representatives' of the Secretary, Irrigation Department of Gujarat; Gujarat State Pollution Control Board (GPCB); Secretary, Urban Development and Housing Department of Gujarat; district collector, Surat; and the Surat municipal commissioner “to review and coordinate” necessary measures."

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