No dumping of waste within 500 metres of Ganga: NGT

Green tribunal declares area near Ganga as 'No-Development Zone'

A 100-metre area on either side of Ganga between Haridwar and Unnao (Uttar Pradesh) will be a "no-construction, no-development zone", the National Green Tribunal ruled on Thursday while ordering a green compensation of Rs 50,000 on anyone dumping waste in the river.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the Environment Ministry and the Ministry of Power to hold a meeting in this regard and file their comments along with affidavit before it.

Such a condition is despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pledge to clean up the holy river.

In its order, the NGT also observed that nearly Rs 7,304 crore have been spent within the stretch, but it has all gone in vain.

The NGT directed regulation of activities on banks of the Ganga and its tributaries and ordered UP and Uttarakhand Governments to formulate guidelines for religious activities on the ghats during festivals.

It also said the Uttar Pradesh government should be "duty-bound" to shift tanneries within six weeks, from Jajmau in Kanpur to leather parks in Unnao or any other place it considers appropriate.

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On maintaining the flow of the river, it said the minimum environment flow should not fall "below 20 per cent of the average monthly lean season flow".

The tribunal reiterated its earlier order of ban on mechanical mining in Ganga and said "no in-stream mechanical mining is permitted and even the mining on the flood plain should be semi-mechanical and preferably more manual".

The green panel has divided the work of cleaning the river in different segments Gomukh to Haridwar (Phase-I), Haridwar to Unnao (termed as segment B of Phase-I), Unnao to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to Bay of Bengal.

In June, the NGT also asked the Central government and other stakeholders to clarify their stand on demarcation and encroachments on the river's floodplains.

Tne tribunal has also appointed a supervisory committee to ensure that the instructions issued by NGT are being followed and implemented properly. The bench also allowed state governments to raise money from the people, if need be, to fund Ganga clean up.

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