NGT directs states, UTs to designate nodal agency for protection of water bodies

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The NGT has ordered that, under the supervision of the Chief State Secretaries / UTs, the designated node agency can hold its meeting no later than January 31, 2021.

Noting that adequate measures to protect water bodies have not been taken, the National Green Tribunal ordered all States and Union Territories (UT) to designate a nodal agency for the exercise.

The NGT directed that, under the supervision of the Chief State Secretaries / UT, the designated node agency may hold its meeting no later than January 31, 2021, to take stock of the situation and plan other actions, including including instructions to district authorities for further action.

The court asked the Central Monitoring Committee, formed to monitor the remediation of 351 polluted river sections, to periodically monitor the stages of restoration of water bodies by all states, at least three times a year.

A first such surveillance could take place before March 31, 2021, the court said.

“We find that the measures taken so far can hardly be considered adequate … This not only contributes to aesthetics but also to the availability of water, aquatic life, microclimate, recharging. of groundwater and maintaining the electronic flow of rivers.

“Under the doctrine of public trust, the state must act as the custodian of water bodies to protect them for public use and the enjoyment of current and future generations,” said a bench led by the Chairman of the NGT, Judge AK Goel.

The court heard a plea filed by Lt. Col. (ret’d) Sarvadaman Singh Oberoi, a resident of Haryana, seeking to restore Lake Ghata in Gurgaon in addition to the restoration of 214 other water bodies and natural canals in the district and bodies of water similar to Faridabad.

The court expanded the scope of the petition to cover the entire country, in the interests of environmental protection.

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