The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has rapped the Maharashtra government for failing to prevent the discharge of municipal waste into the river joining Godavari at Trimbakeshwar.

A Bench comprising Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Sudhir Agarwal said generation of sewage is in the range of 4.5 5 million litres per day while arrangement for treatment is only for 1 MLD sewage.

The Remaining untreated sewage is being discharged into the river which is not fit even for bathing as per primary water quality criteria but may be drunk by humans and other living beings to the detriment of their health, it said.

"We place on record our strong disapproval of the inhuman ('ki human' in the order) conduct of the State of Maharashtra and its concerned officer for such a situation and proposing action by August, 2023 in spite of repeated orders of this Tribunal in the last more than two years", the Tribunal held.

"We have not found any reason why such action could not have been taken earlier in view of Supreme Court orders of 2017 and why erring officers are not being prosecuted as directed by the Supreme Court. Disciplinary action appears to be an eye wash and wholly inadequate and not against senior officers who are real culprits for the situation," the bench has held.

Regretfully, the authorities do not appear to have taken the trouble even to read the order, it added.

"Information on cleaning of drains used for dumping sewage and garbage has not been given. Details of the quantity of sewage generated from adjoining areas and the progress on underground sewerage needs to be ascertained so as to ensure remedial action. Comprehensive plan for Trimbakeshwar has to be in place, as directed earlier," the Bench said.

The NGT said that direct discharge of sewage containing both organic and inorganic pollutant into the river Godavari is highly detrimental to the ecology and environment.

"Let the Chief Secretary, Maharashtra ensure satisfactory action in the light of above said observations, including meaningful coercive action against erring officers which may include prosecution, apart from disciplinary action as per directions of the Supreme Court, quoted earlier. Compliance affidavit of status as on April 30, 2022 be filed by e-mail," the Bench said in the order.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Kiran Ramdas Kamble and others alleging failure of the Trimbakeshwar Municipal Council and other concerned authorities of the State of Maharashtra in preventing discharge of Municipal waste into river joining Godavari.

Click here to read/download the Order

With PTI inputs