Uttarakhand Stories

Restoring Ganges: Plastic ban from Gomukh to Haridwar by NGT

by Pragati Chauhan
Dec 14, 2015

It’s a sign of global annihilation:

Looking at the present scenario from the rampant floods of Uttarakhand, the drought affected Maharashtra, to the recent catastrophe held at Chennai taking away many innocent lives. All these signs are somewhere indicating an urgent need to restore our natural resources, for preventing global warming. If we do not come forward to preserve what mother earth has graciously bestowed upon us, then no sooner we will witness doomsday. It will be a day when the whole humanity will weep for being ignorant and selfish.

An initiative by National Green Tribunal for restoring river Ganga:

Closely monitoring the behaviour of the commercial hotels, dharamshala or ashrams who dispose of the domestic garbage and sewage in what they refer to as “Holy Ganga” has alarmed the National Green Tribunal of their ignorance towards the environment. The NGT has penalised these hotels and guest houses with a fine of Rs 5,000 per day. Also, from February 1, onwards there will be a complete ban on the use of plastic and other non-biodegradable materials from Gomukh to Haridwar, along Ganga.

The National Green Tribunal has passed a few directives for making the river Ganga pollution free:

  •  If any hotel, dharamshala, guesthouses etc. will release their domestic garbage and sewage into river Ganga or its tributaries, then they will be liable to pay Rs 5,000 per day, as the penalty for causing river pollution.
  • Other than the plastic ban, NGT has also restricted disposing of any municipal waste, construction and bulldozing waste into Ganga and its tributaries. Thereby, announcing that the violators will be charged with an environmental compensation of Rs 5,000 for their misconduct.
  • There shall be completed ban on plastic and products made out of plastic such as plastic carry bags, plastic plates, glasses, spoons, packages, bottles etc. These items will be strictly prohibited in all the cities and towns, situated on the banks of river Ganga and its various tributaries in Segment A Phase 1 i.e., Gomukh to Haridwar.

NGT has divided the clean-up of river Ganga into 5 different segments:

  1. Gomukh to Haridwar,
  2. Haridwar to Kanpur,
  3. Kanpur to border of Uttar Pradesh,
  4. Border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand, and
  5. The border of Jharkhand to the Bay of Bengal.

In a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said, “Under no circumstances, plastic carry bags of any thickness whatsoever would be permitted. The procurement, storing and sale of such plastic bags, plates, glasses, spoons etc are hereby prohibited”. He further added, “These restrictions would become operative with effect from February 1, 2016”.

The green bench will also shut down all the environment polluting industries which are operating without the consent of Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board.

It is said, “No mechanised river bed mining would be permitted. No JCBs (mechanical excavator) would be permitted to operate on the river bed”.

Src: TOI

Pragati Chauhan

Pragati Chauhan

A writer by profession, thinker by choice and a nature lover since birth. I have always loved expressing myself through words, I believe words have a certain kind of melody which can be understood by anybody.

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