The National Green Tribunal NGT has directed Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority GNIDA to adopt the best economic practices per the guidelines of the Ministry of Housing Urban Affairs MoHUA to curb water pollution in 93 villages adjoining Greater NOIDA, which are practically part of the urban area.
In the interest of public health, the Green Court said that the residents may be persuaded to have sewage connections and the authorities may consider levying charges against all the residents so that connections are not avoided for saving the charges. The court ordered the entire exercise to be completed in a time-bound manner, preferably within three months.
Akash Vashishtha, Advocate and Counsel for the petitioners Karmvir Singh and Pradeep Kumar, submitted to the court that there are only 16 faecal sludge removing points for 80 villages, which were by no means inadequate. The Greater Noida Authority must consider at least one such point for a cluster of 5 villages.
The septic tanks installed by households were unscientific and improper, which were next to hand pumps and borewells, giving a strong possibility of contamination of the ground water. Vashishtha informed the court that this had to be looked into. The condition of these villages is poor. The streets are always filled with sewage and the villagers are constantly battling with pollution, he said.
NGT noted that sewage wastewater spills over the roads because of the blockade of storm water drains with solid waste, plastic waste, construction and demolition waste, or other types of waste, the sewage is causing them to break away and cause wear and tear on the roads. Villagers are compelled to clean their sewage water drains and drink polluted water because most of them can't afford purifying RO or other systems.
The Court said that a proper drainage system must be ensured to prevent overflow of sewage up to the natural ponds. Ponds need to be protected and kept free from pollution. The NGT noted that all villages have been provided with internal drainages but are yet to be connected to the main sewer line, which ultimately has to reach established 174 million litres per day MLD Sewage Treatment Plants STP The Court further found that only 110-120 MLD is treated against the 174 MLD installed capacity. It is utmost necessary that all households and other establishments are connected to sewers to make use of the laid sewer line otherwise it will remain defunct. The court said that no waste water would be allowed into the pond and within three months the ponds in question be remediated and water quality be improved.
The NGT has directed agencies to look at a decentralised sewerage mechanism with the provision of having one faecal sludge receiving point for each village and septage management to be monitored by statutory regulators.