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NGT directs J&K admin to pay Rs 35 cr compensation for discharge of sewage into Doodh Ganga, Mamath Kull

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Srinagar: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Jammu and Kashmir administration to pay a compensation of Rs 35 crore for discharge of untreated sewage into the Doodh Ganga and Mamath Kull streams.

It said there are “serious lapses” on the part of the administration in waste management as well as in failing to control illegal mining.

“…There are serious lapses on the part of the administration in waste management and in failing to control illegal mining which has resulted in huge damage to the environment and public health,” the NGT said in an order on Friday, hearing an application moved by activist Raja Muzaffar Bhat.

The tribunal said remedial action is inadequate on the ground.

“The same is more in the nature of future promises without much accountability for the past failures. While there is no objection to future remedial action which must be taken, accountability has to be fixed for past violations on polluter pays principle,” it said.

The NGT directed the J&K administration to pay a compensation of Rs 35 crore for the lapses.

“We fix compensation for discharge of untreated sewage in the drain at Rs 32 crore and for failure to process solid waste at Rs 3 crore. We had earlier levied interim compensation of Rs 3 crore which may be adjusted,” it said, referring to its earlier order in March this year.

The remaining of Rs 32 crores be deposited by the state in a ring-fenced account to be operated as per directions of the Chief Secretary for restoration of the environment, which will include preventing discharge of sewage in unscientific manner in drains or otherwise and improving the water quality of the drain, the tribunal said.

It said the part of the amount may be utilised for restoration of the legacy waste dump site and for remediation of the leftover legacy waste.

The NGT directed that an action taken report in pursuance of the order, particularly with reference to setting up of decentralised and centralised STPs and stopping discharges from waste discharging points to Doodhganga and Mamath Kull be filed by e-mail to the tribunal on or before April 30 next year.

The Principal Secretary, Urban Development, J&K may remain present in person by VC on the next date, which is on May 24 next year, it said.

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