National Green Tribunal

National Green Tribunal: Prakash Shrivastava, Chairperson and Dr. A. Senthil Vel, Expert Member, took suo motu cognizance of the increasing pollution in Indrayani River in Pune, resulting in formation of toxic foam floating on the surface of the river.

A news item titled “Layer of toxic foam floats on the surface of Indrayani River in Pune” was published in ‘Hindustan Times’ dated 12-02-2024. As per the news report, the pollution of river has become a perpetual problem due to a lack of coordination and inaction by the local bodies. It was also published that effluent in large quantities was being released in the river water and the river was getting polluted due to untreated industrial and domestic waste. Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) attributes pollution to domestic sewage, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) claims that it is caused by industrial effluent being released into the river. Substantial issues relating to compliance of environmental norms and implementation of the provisions of the Scheduled enactments were raised in the news article.

The Tribunal referred to Municipal Corpn. of Greater Mumbai v. Ankita Sinha, (2022) 13 SCC 401, wherein, the Tribunal’s power to take up the matters suo motu has been recognized.

On perusal of the status report filed by MPCB, disclosing the details of four foam incidences, the Tribunal noted that no effective action was indicated by the MPCB. Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board; Commissioner, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation; Metropolitan Commissioner, Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority and District Collector & District Magistrate, Pune were impleaded as respondents.

The Tribunal issued notice to the departments concerned for filing their response before the appropriate Bench of the Tribunal. The matter was transferred to the Western Zonal Bench for appropriate further action and was listed before the Western Zonal Bench at Pune on 28-05-2024.

[In re, News item title “Layer of toxic foam floats on surface of Indrayani River in Pune” appearing in Hindustan Times dated 12-02-2024, 2024 SCC OnLine NGT 199, Order dated 22-03-2024]

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