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NGT directs states to designate nodal agency for protection of water bodies

Noting that adequate steps for protection of water bodies have not been taken, the National Green Tribunal has directed all states and Union Territories to designate a nodal agency for the exercise.

Topics
National Green Tribunal | Water Conservation

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

drinking water

Noting that adequate steps for protection of water bodies have not been taken, the Green Tribunal has directed all states and Union Territories (UTs) to designate a nodal agency for the exercise.

The NGT directed that under the oversight of chief secretaries of States/UTs, the designated nodal agency may hold its meeting not later than January 31, 2021, to take stock of the situation and plan further steps, including directions to district authorities for further course of action.

The tribunal asked the Central Monitoring Committee, formed for monitoring remediation of 351 polluted river stretches, to monitor the steps for restoration of water bodies by all the states periodically, at leastthrice in a year.

First such monitoring may take place by March 31, 2021, the tribunal said.

"We find that steps taken so far can hardly be held to be adequate...It helps not only aesthetics but also water availability, aquatic life, microclimate, recharge of ground water and maintaining e-flow of the rivers.

"Under the Public Trust Doctrine, the State has to act as trustee of the water bodies to protect them for the public use and enjoyment for current and future generations," a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel said.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by petitioner Haryana resident Lt Col (retd) Sarvadaman Singh Oberoi seeking to restore Ghata Lake in Gurgaon besides restoration of 214 other water bodies and natural channels in the district and similar water bodies in Faridabad.

The tribunal had expanded the scope of the petition to the entire country, in the interest of protection of the environment.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sun, November 22 2020. 15:40 IST
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