HC: Form expert panel, save waterbodies from pollution

The Madras High Court directed the State government to constitute an expert body with persons of impeccable credentials to ensure that waterbodies across the State do not get polluted either by discharge of effluents from industries or letting in sewage and dumping garbage by local people.
HC: Form expert panel, save waterbodies from pollution
Representative image.

Chennai

The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy issued the direction while hearing a public interest litigation that said the wanton permissions accorded by the government to industries near the banks of Amaravati have resulted in effluents being discharged into the water, rendering it unfit for consumption and making nearby groundwater toxic.
Observing that the counsel representing the State appeared to be clueless as to the measures to be adopted, Chief Justice Banerjee said, “At the end of the day, the pollution level in the flowing water has to be reduced to the extent possible. That is the duty of the State, and appropriate checks and balances should be introduced to ensure that the dumping of effluents into any flowing waterbody, whether by any industry or by local inhabitants, is completely prohibited if only to preserve the quality of water for downstream users.”
Also, noting the possibility of a polluted river rending groundwater along its banks toxic and unfit for use, the Chief Justice held, “In a State which depends primarily on flowing water and the damming of rainwater during the limited period that it gets rains, every endeavour should be made to ensure that the quality of the water is not compromised or adversely affected by the discharge of effluents or sewage or the like.” He then directed the government to constitute an expert body with persons of impeccable credentials to suggest appropriate measures whether to curb discharge of industrial effluents or to relocate industries that are close to the banks of flowing waterbodies.
Further, asking the State to take the matter seriously and invite the best minds to indicate how the quality of flowing water could be preserved, the bench also sought it to evolve guidelines with appropriate checks and balances before all flowing water in the State turned poisonous. The plea has been posted for further hearing to June 15.

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