The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday directed the Delhi Chief Secretary and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to deposit Rs 1 crore each with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for their failure to prepare an action plan for utilisation of treated waste water from the sewage treatment plants (STP) in the national capital.
The green panel said failure of the Chief Secretary as well as DJB to prepare an action plan on the issue was detrimental to environment and also to the rule of law.
"There is thus clear failure on the part of the DJB as well as by Chief Secretary Delhi to carry out the directions of this Tribunal and also to utilise the treated waste water. This is also failure of their duties, entrusted to them under the law resulting in continuing waste of available treated water," the NGT said.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said water is scarce resource and proper utilisation of waste water was necessary to reduce the pressure on the ground water and to conserve the same.
"To compensate the environment for the loss caused on account of inaction, in spite of directions being given, it is necessary to reiterate the direction already issued and require DJB as well as Chief Secretary, Delhi to remedy situation to upload the rule of law.
"Accordingly, we direct the Chief Secretary, Delhi and DJB to deposit a sum of Rs 1 crore each with the CPCB for loss caused to the environment and to now prepare and furnish action plan positively within one month. The Chief Secretary must resolve any inter-se issue of responsibility of the concerned departments," the bench said.
The tribunal also warned that if there is further failure, the DJB and the Chief Secretary, Delhi will be liable to pay further sum of Rs 2 crore each after one month, apart from other actions which may have to be taken.
The NGT also asked all the States and Union Territories to prepare and furnish their action plans for ulitisation of treated waste water in their respective States/UTs within three months.
"Such action plans may be furnished to the CPCB. The CPCB may review such action plans and issue appropriate directions in the matter and furnish a report of compliance to this Tribunal on or before April 30, 2019 by email at firstname.lastname@example.org," the bench said.
The tribunal had earlier directed DJB to prepare an action plan for utilisation of treated waste water from the sewage treatment plants (STP) in the national capital and said efforts should be made to ensure that the treated water is used as resource and not wasted.
The direction came during the hearing of a plea filed by Mahesh Chandra Saxena, who claims to be associated with an NGO working in the field of ground water conservation.
He has sought directions to the SDMC to stop construction of rain water harvesting system in a nearby park near the Chhattarpur temple in South Delhi and restriction on ground water usage through borewells.
The petitioner has also sought directions for the use of recycled treated water from DJB's sewage treatment plant at Qutub Metro Station to avoid wastage of water.