Vrindavan, 2017.10.15 (VT): The Allahabad High Court issued a show-cause notice to the U.P. Chief Secretary and others for non-compliance with the Supreme Court’s order to end pollution of the river Yamuna. While issuing the notice, the court questioned why it should not direct a First Information Report (FIR) to be lodged against all the responsible Officers of the State of Uttar Pradesh for not taking appropriate measures to protect Yamuna from pollution, despite the Apex court’s judgement to that effect in the case of M.C. Mehta in 1988.
The bench comprising Justice Arun Tandon and Justice Rajiv Joshi sternly questioned why, 29 years after a judgment passed by the Supreme Court of India to ensure that no untreated sewage water is permitted to enter river water in the State of Uttar Pradesh, no adequate measures have been taken by the authorities.
The court expressed that 29 years is too long a period to permit such a negligent attitude on the part of State authorities and local bodies, and this will not go on unnoticed. The court further stated that the time has come when all the responsibile parties will be held accountable. Unless responsibility is fastened upon the officers of the State and local bodies, said the court, there would be no or little response to the direction of the Apex court.
In their affidavit, the authorities of the Mathura-Vrindavan Nagar Nigam admitted that 20-million liters of untreated sewage is being permitted to flow into the Yamuna River within the jurisdiction of Mathura-Vrindavan alone. They also stated that they were willing and ready to perform their duty and they had already sent a proposal to the State government on January 21st, 2017, and are still awaiting a response from the State Government.
Taking the affidavit on record, the court the court lamented the painfully slow speed with which local bodies and the State Government are acting. Even the proposal to establish a new Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) or enhance the old ones was submitted seven full years after the original Public Interest Litigation was filed against the sewage dumping.
The Public Interest Litigation in question was filed by Madhumangal Shukla in 2010, primarily against the construction of the “half-moon bridge” at Keshi Ghat. In the petition, Shri Shukla had said that instead of preventing sewage being dumped into Yamuna and regulating the encroachments, the government itself was building a half-circular bridge, which would add to the pollution of the river and obstruct the view of iconic Keshi Ghat.
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