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Ganga River Basin Authority & Closure of Water Treatment Plants

Written By krishna on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 | 2:00 AM

What is the role of Ganga River Basin Authority (GRBA) when instead of closing polluting industrial units in Haryana, the National Capital Region (NCR) gets deprived of water supply by closing water treatment plants (WTPs).

The plants of Wazirabad and Chandrawal WTPs in NCR has been shut down due to presence of massive pollutants in Yamuna water coming from Haryana. Excessive levels of ammonia and chloride in raw water has emerged as a regular problem.

Can GRBA stop the Haryana factories from dumping all their effluents in Yamuna river?

Does GBRA have short-term and a long-term vision for the Ganga river basin?

Government of India constituted GRBA on 20th February 2009 under Section 3(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA), 1986 to act as a planning, financing, monitoring and coordinating body of the centre and the states.

According to GRBA as of September 2009, a total of 478 Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs) were identified in Ganga Basin, out of which 348 industries have installed ETPs and operating satisfactorily 74 industries have been closed down and 56 industries are not operating satisfactorily.

The 56 industries which are admittedly not operating satisfactorily merits attention for action under Section 5 of EPA Act as an upfront initiative rather than undertaking effete steps like closing water treatment plants.

GRBA must address the emerging crisis due to industrial effluents and sewage generated by towns of Haryana including Chhachhrauli, Faridabad, Gharaunda, Gohana, Gurgaon, Indri, Karnal, Palwal, Panipat, Radaur, Sonepat and Yamunanagar-Jagadri to set matters right.

Under Section 5 of EPA, the Central Government has the power to direct the closure, prohibition or regulation or any industry, operation or process and/or stoppage or regulation of the supply of electricity or water or any other service. The closure of water treatment plants in NCR reveals that there is a compelling logic for GBRA and other concerned agencies to exercise their powers instead of adopting Ostrich policy.
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