<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 each on officers of the Ministry of Water Resources and UP Jal Nigam for furnishing incorrect information on drains joining the river Ganga in the Garhmukteshwar area of Uttar Pradesh.Observing that it was hearing the Ganga cleaning case on day-to-day basis for expeditious disposal, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said such an approach of the authorities was creating impediments in the case. The green panel slapped Rs 25,000 cost each on officers concerned from the Ministry of Water Resources and UP Jal Nigam for not providing correct information on 30 drains which join Ganga.”Most regretfully, we notice that the assistance provided by the Ministry of Water Resources and UP Jal Nigam is most ineffective. In fact, they became party to the joint inspection and then pointed out before the tribunal, deficiencies in the joint inspection report… “The documents passed are without proper authentication, but they do create impediment in further hearing of the case and even the information which is patently not correct is furnished to the tribunal,” the bench said.It said that it took more time for the tribunal “to verify the contents of the information supplied, rather than to proceed further with the case and to bring the case … to its logical end.” The bench, which was considering the Ganga cleaning programme between Haridwar to Unnao, posted the matter for next hearing on March 3.Earlier, the green tribunal was told by an experts’ panel that the functional sewage treatment plants in the Garhmukteshwar area of UP do not operate as the domestic sewage network is not connected to the main sewerage system. A three-member committee set up by the NGT had said that the Garhmukteshwar stretch of the Ganga should receive special attention as it was the habitat of the critically-endangered Gangetic Dolphin, an indicator species for the river’s ecosystem.In February, the bench had ordered a CBI probe into the execution of the Ganga cleaning project after it noted that Rs 31.82 crore was spent on two STPs and a 58-km long sewerage line project without due analysis and verification of the actual pollution load in the Garh drain and Brijghat drain.NGT had slammed the state’s Jal Nigam for building the STPs on the drains joining Ganga without any survey and said it had wasted Rs 1500 crore since 1987 and still not cleaned “even a single drop” of the river.
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