The National Green Tribunal (NGT), has, slammed the Haryana government and its civic bodies, over the disposal of industrial waste and construction debris in the Aravalli forests, on the Gurgaon-Faridabad Road.
“Aravalli hill is a forest area. How can you make it a dumping site? How could you allow the leachate to accumulate at Bandhwari sewage treatment plant? We had asked you to take action. Why don’t you do something? Let there be some constructive suggestion,” a bench headed by NGT chairperson, justice Swatanter Kumar said, while directing the official concerned from the municipal corporation to be present before it.
The observations came, after several residents from nearby villages appeared before the tribunal and alleged water contamination in their area. They told the NGT that continued dumping of waste at the Bandhwari landfill site, had led a stream of dirty black water or leachate into the Aravalli forest, polluting the aquifers around both Delhi and Gurgaon.
The villagers, who were accompanied by an NGO, submitted water samples to the green body. They alleged that reckless dumping of industrial waste and construction debris, was taking place in the green area and sought urgent directions from the bench in this regard.
The green panel’s order came on the plea filed by environmentalist Vivek Kamboj and Amit Chaudhery, who had alleged that the municipal corporations of Gurgaon and Faridabad, were disposing of industrial waste and construction debris in forest areas on the Gurgaon-Faridabad Road. Kamboj had referred to a newspaper report, which said that construction debris was found dumped in the forest area and quoted a resident there, who stated that lots of vehicles dump waste in the forest area every Sunday morning.
Earlier, the NGT had said that any individual spotted throwing waste or muck in the Aravalli forest, would have to pay a penalty of Rs 5,000. There will be proper check points at the beginning of the roads entering towards the Aravalli hills, it had said. It had also directed the police commissioners of Gurgaon and Faridabad, to ensure that the directions issued by the NGT were fully complied with.
The tribunal had restrained the Haryana Urban Development Authority and the Gurgaon Municipal Corporation from dumping waste in the Aravalli forests and issued them a notice, asking why they should not be asked to pay environmental compensation.