The National Green Tribunal has noted that Rs.7,000 crores being spent for cleaning of Ganga in the past 2 years by the Central Government has gone in drain as it yielded no results. It said that it still remained a serious “environmental issue”. It is to be noted that it announced a fine of Rs.50,000 for the pollutants and also banned all construction activity within 100 metres of the river edge apart from prohbiting the dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river.
“There are considerable unutilised funds as of today, besides the huge funds that have been made available under the national project as declared by the Prime Minister wherein Rs 20,000 crore have been allocated for the five years commencing 2015-2020.
“Even after spending Rs 7304.64 crores upto March, 2017, by the Central Government, State Government and local authorities of the State of UP, the status of river Ganga has not improved in terms of quality or otherwise and it continues to be a serious environmental issue” noted NGT.
M C Mehta who has petitioned for the CBI inquiry for having spent Rs.7,000 crore on cleansing the river by both the State and Central Government which spanned over 500 km stretch without any results has welcomed the order.
In the order, the NGT said all projects referred to in its verdict should be finalised by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG). It also said that the prime responsibility is that of Ministry of Water Resources and NMCG to finalise the projects based on the funds allocated.