Action against those polluting River Ganga in Uttar Pradesh
The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has started taking stringent action against people and units polluting the Ganga in the state.
In the biggest strike against those polluting the holy river, the Namami Ganga department has slapped a fine of Rs 3 crore on a Varanasi-based company for callousness in running a sewage treatment plant (STP).
Teams of Namami Ganga are raiding at least 12 places across the state, checking the parameters and quality of STPs.
To ensure scaling up work on ‘Clean And Flowing Ganga Mission’, the state government has scaled up action and monitoring and checking of the parameters and quality of STPs, both government and private.
A total of nine teams have been constituted and they are conducting surprise inspections and investigating sewage disposal.
According to the official sources, the first action was taken in Varanasi where the Ramana STP was found not operating at the fixed parameters. It was also found that the quality of sewage disposal was not up to the mark and after completion of the probe, the Namami Gange department slapped a fine of Rs 3 crore on the company.
This is the biggest action so far against callousness in disposal of sewage.
This drive is underway at many other places in the state.
Uttar Pradesh has 104 operational STPs of which 44 STPs are under the purview of Namami Ganga.
The state government has rolled out an extensive awareness campaign for people towards cleanliness of Ganga. To ensure that the Ganga ghats are clean and that drains do not flow into the river, STPs are being made on a large scale.
Anurag Srivastava, Principal Secretary, Namami Gange, said that clean and flowing Ganga is being given top priority.
UP to comply with NGT orders on firecrackers
The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh will comply with the orders of National Green Tribunal (NGT) regarding firecrackers on Diwali.
According to the Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Avanish Awasthi, “The NGT’s order is a detailed one and we will comply with it. The air quality is deteriorating and steps have to be taken to address the issue.”
Cities including Lucknow, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Bareilly, Firozabad, Jhansi, Kanpur, Bulandshahr, Moradabad and RaeBareli may go in for a complete ban on use of crackers during Diwali.
A senior official said that District Magistrates will be taking decision, keeping in mind the pollution level in their respective districts.
While Meerut has already imposed a ban on firecrackers, Lucknow has so far banned only certain categories of firecrackers.
Among the firecrackers banned in Lucknow are the most preferred ‘ladis’ or ‘chatai’ (cracker series) and similar high decibel crackers.
“Sale of only those crackers that are in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order would be allowed,” said Naveen Arora, Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP).
“On festivals like Diwali and Gurupurab, fireworks would be allowed only between 8 pm and 10 pm. On Christmas and New Year’s Eve, fireworks may start from 11.55 pm and continue till 12.30 am,” the guidelines said.
Besides, the district administration has defined ‘No Cracker Zones’ in the city, including hospital, nursing homes, educational institutions, court and zoological gardens.
Agra Additional District Magistrate, Ajay Tiwari, said that bursting of firecrackers will not be allowed.
“Instructions have already been issued to all police stations to initiate strong action against storage of firecrackers or their use,” he said.
Agra District Magistrate Prabhu Nath Singh, said: “No fresh license for sale of firecrackers is being issued. All renewals too are on hold and so is the practice of issuing temporary license.”
Agra has been one of the highly polluted cities in Uttar Pradesh this season.