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NGT directs UP govt to provide potable water in Sambhal

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
The National Green Tribunal today ordered the immediate sealing of handpumps discharging contaminated water in Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal and directed the state government to provide clean drinking water in the district.

A bench headed by acting Chairperson Justice U D Salvi also asked the state government to file a comprehensive plan for supply of water in the affected villages around the district before March 14.

The green panel said that it was surprised that despite knowing that the groundwater of 30 villages of Sambhal district was heavily contaminated, the authorities have not taken any step to improve the situation.

During the hearing, the UP Jal Nigam told the bench that 77 handpumps in Sambhal district were discharging water which contained arsenic beyond the permissible limit.

The tribunal's direction came on a plea filed by advocate Gaurav Bansal who said as per the website of the national rural drinking water programme maintained by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, the groundwater of 30 villages of Sambhal district was heavily contaminated.

He had contended that the people in these villages were forced to drink polluted water due to the inaction by the state government in resolving the issue.

The lawyer had sought directions to the state government to provide potable drinking water to the villages in the district where handpumps were discharging contaminated water.

The petition had alleged that due to the consumption of the contaminated groundwater, "farmers, children, and aged persons" of these villages were suffering from various diseases.

The lawyer said he had himself visited one such village Sharifpur and found that all the handpumps were releasing yellow-coloured water.

"During the visit, applicant was told by the villagers of Sharifabad and Kurkawali that many of the interior villages were facing acute potable water shortage," it said.

The petition had also sought direction to formulate and place on record a scheme to prevent health hazards caused by the consumption of contaminated handpump water.

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First Published: Jan 29 2018 | 7:55 PM IST

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