The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday directed the CBI to probe alleged irregularities in the cleaning up of river Ganga by the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam.
The tribunal found that Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) on Garh drain in Garhmukteshwar was being constructed without any field work, inspection or analysing the effluents and discharge.
After finding that the money spent and preparation done to construct STPs over Garh and Brijghat drain was “dubious”, the tribunal directed CBI to launch an inquiry against the UP Jal Nigam General Manager.
Grilling the UP Jal Nigam officials over pollution in Ganga river, NGT Chairman Swatanter Kumar said showing laxity on cleaning Ganga was “shameful”.
“You sit and keep wasting public money. How shameless can you be. Ganga is not cleaned because of officers like you,” Kumar said, reprimanding the officers.A five-member bench of the NGT, chaired by Kumar, while cross-examining the Jal Nigam officials, found that projects worth Rs 31.82 crore on STPs and sewerage lines were executed without prior and post facto analysis of verification of pollution load in Garhmukteshwar and Brijghat.
The Tribunal directed the CBI director to appoint a senior officer for the investigation.
Kumar said the bench was of the view that public fund was being “wasted” by officers who “do not perform their basic functions” of analysis and groundwork on the quality and quantity of waste before preparation of the detailed project report.
“They (projects) are being executed without rational basis. Investigation should be referred to CBI for this entire matter,” Kumar said.
“It will not only help us find out the irresponsible manner in which these projects are being carried out, but also ensure proper sustainable development and controlling the pollution in the river Ganga,” Kumar said.
The UP Jal Nigam officials passed the buck on the civic body of Garhmukteshwar, claiming that the latter did not connect local drains to the major drain routed towards the STP.
The bench directed the executive officer of Nagar Pailka Parishadh (civic body) Garhmukteshwar, to be present before it on Wednesday (February 15).