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River Pollution : SC orders West Bengals enviroment secratery to be present before it

 2017-02-20 16:24:32.0

River Pollution : SC orders West Bengals enviroment secratery to be present before it

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today rapped the West Bengal government for not filing a reply to a PIL on release of unilateral effluents by industries and other entities into river across the country and asked its environment secretary to appear before it on February 22.

"Why should we waste time with you (lawyer for the state).

Your environment secretary will be before us on day after tomorrow.

"Every other state has filed its reply and you choose not to file it. Ask your (environment) secretary to remain present," a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said when the counsel for the state government sought two weeks more time to file the counter affidavit in the case.

The apex court had earlier issued notice to the Centre, the Miniostery of Enviroment and Forest, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Chief Secretaries of 19 states, including Gujarat, on the Plea of NGO Parayavaran Suraksha Samiti,on the issue of pollution in water bodies, including ground water.

At the outset, the bench, also comprising Justice D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, said that it would pass an order on Feburary 22 on the issues including stoppage of industrial activity till tratment plants are set up by the industries and inquired from CPCB about the possible time taken in establishing the sewage treatment plants (STPs).

The Senior advocate Colin Gonslves, appearing for the NGO, said that there has been rise of 300 to 400 per cent in release of unadulterated liquid waste in rivers across the country.

"We may forthwith stop the release of industrial effluents and will allow them to release after they set the sewage treatment plants. One way is to stop the polluting industries," the court said.

When the council for parties tried to elaborate upon the processes involving in the sewage treatment, it said, "You keep saying. We keep listening. But nothing is happening."

"Is this the supreme court or a joke court," an increased apex court bench had observed on January 16 when it found out from records that several state governments had not filed their reply to the PIL.


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