Sabarmati River pollution: HC orders AMC to seal 3 sites and requests NEERI report in 2 weeks

The Gujarat High Court has ordered the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to seal off three locations identified by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) from where untreated sewage is directly discharged into the Sabarmati River in Ahmedabad.

The order dated February 11, made public on Thursday, related to a suo motu public interest (PIL) dispute over the discharge of industrial and sewage into the river.

Locations identified include a stormwater drain behind Riverside School near CSD Depot on Cantonment Airport Road, a drain near Prachin Ranmukteshwar Mandir in Hansol and an outfall near Ash Pond Power Station in Torrent in Motera.

A divisional bench of Judges JB Parrdiwala and VD Nanavati, in its order, noted that it was “disturbed to know” that the samples from the three sites revealed that untreated sewage which does not meet the required parameters, is directly discharged into the Sabarmati River. He noted that these spillways “should have been looked at sooner and measures should have been taken to prevent these untreated discharges”.

The bench ordered the AMC to block or seal the three outlets within a week and to begin identifying companies, buildings and units discharging this contaminated wastewater directly into the river. The court also ordered AMC to undertake “a thorough investigation of all companies/buildings/residential units in the area that do not have valid drain connections” and submit a response by the next due date. hearing scheduled from February 25.

The GPCB pointed out in court that four of the 14 treatment plants under AMC were discharging huge amounts of sewage directly into the river. According to DP Shah, a senior environmental engineer at GPCB, who was in court, such a dump was described as “very dangerous”.

The court further ordered AMC to submit its action plan to the GPCB “as soon as possible” in the context of 106 MLD Old Pirana STP, 182 MLD New Pirana STP, 60 MLD STP, New Pirana and 180 MLD Please, Pirana. The bench also ordered AMC and GPCB to step up their campaign to identify illegal industrial sewer connections.

The court also ordered the GPCB “to impress the NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute) to expedite the preparation of its report” regarding the condition and functioning of seven CETPs and to provide it within two weeks, so that the GPCB can ask the seven CETPs to start undertaking the necessary repairs.

In an affidavit, the GPCB had argued that its officials had been ‘impeded and hindered’ and had been ‘abused’, ‘threatened’ and ‘locked inside’ an industrial unit in Bright Wash while carrying out their duties. their legal obligation after the unit had to discharge waste. water directly into the AMC drain line.

Noting the revelations as “very shocking and alarming”, the court ordered GPCB “to take severe action against M/s.Bright Wash and that GPCB “must, at the earliest, request Torrent Power to disconnect the power supply of M/s. Shiny wash”.

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