DB constitutes High Power Committee to prevent pollution in river Tawi


JAMMU, Aug 9: Taking serious note over the pollution in river Tawi, A Division Bench of the State High Court Comprising Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Sanjeev Kumar, today constitute high powered Committee which will be headed by Divisional Commissioner, Jammu and shall consist Chairman, Pollution Control Board, Commissioner Municipal Corporation, Jammu, Yash Pal, Scientist of Pollution Control Board, IGP Jammu, CEO ERA and Adv CM Koul has volunteered himself to assist the Committee as Court Commissioner who convene its meeting within a period of one week from today and shall address the issues, which have been pointed out by the Committee and have been referred to supra, and shall apprise this Court with regard to the time lines within which remedial action shall be taken to prevent the pollution in the river Tawi, Jammu as well as to ensure healthy environment to residents of city of Jammu. The Committee shall submit its status report within a period of three weeks from today. The Committee in its report shall indicate alternative dumping site till permanent arrangement is made, so as to prevent the minimal threat to pollution being caused to the river Tawi.
Today when the PIL came-up for hearing, Division Bench observed that by an order dated 28.07.2017, this Court had appointed Mr. Sunil Sethi, Sr. Advocate and C.M Koul, advocate as Commissioners to visit and inspect site of the Sewage Treatment Plants constructed at Bhagwati Nagar, Jammu. Pursuant to the aforesaid order, both the learned counsels had inspected the Sewage Treatment Plants on 31.07.2014 along with one Mr. K.J Sharma, Assistant Executive Engineer (Mechanical) Urban Environmental Engineering Department (UEED) along with Mr. S.S Nanda, Sr. AAG. The Committee inspected the three Sewage Treatment Plants constructed at Bhagwati Nagar, Jammu. The Committee in its report has inter alia recorded the following findings. The Sewage Treatment Plants which was commissioned in Bhagwati Nagar is operational to the extent of 40% only. It has also been pointed out by the Committee that the aforesaid Sewage Treatment Plant was commissioned in the year 2012. Despite the lapse of five years, the plant has not been made functional to its full capacity and Another Sewage Treatment Plant, was stated to be having the capacity of 30 MLD per day. As per the report of the Committee, it is not working to its full strength and has also been made operational to its minimal capacity. Sewage Treatment Plant with the capacity of treating 27 MLD per day was stated to be fully non-operational and the entire old city, namely Bakshi Nagar, Sarwal and other areas are yet to be connected to the Sewage Treatment Plant so that the aforementioned Sewage Treatment Plant works to its capacity and prevent the toxic waste to flow into the river Tawi.
It is also stated in the report that dumping site admeasuring 100 kanals is adjacent to the bank of river Tawi, where entire Sewage Waste is not being treated, and the untreated garbage/ waste will affect the health of the residents of the adjoining villages.
When the matter was taken up, Commissioners informed the court that they were apprised of by the Commissioner Municipal Corporation, Jammu, that the area admeasuring 100 kanals at Kot Balwal has been identified as dumping site where garbage will be treated and protected and will be made fit for industrial use and Committee has impressed upon the need of shifting the open dumping site adjacent to river Tawi immediately to some other place, as it is causing pollution and also pointed out that open dumping site is situated adjacent to the Airport, where the birds accumulate in large number which may result in any accident to aircraft while taking off from the Jammu Airport or while landing to the Jammu Airport, and the possibility of causality of the passengers sitting in the aircraft cannot be ruled out.
Division Bench further observed that from the perusal of the report submitted by the Commissioners, this Court find that the situation is alarming in nature and river Tawi is virtually dying. The Officers of Municipal Corporation, Jammu as well as Pollution Control Board so far have not taken the matter seriously and the Sewage Treatment Plants have also not been made operational fully to treat the three Sewage Treatment Plants and the major portion of Jammu City remains unconnected with the Sewage and in view of the aforesaid fact and the fact situation of the case and taking into account, the fact that the issue cannot brook any delay, we deem it appropriate to constitute high powered Committee. JNF

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