Cashed on cost of Rivers: HC pulls up Industries for discharging effluent in Sewage Pipeline


 On Wednesday, the Gujarat high court came down heavily on industries for discharging trade effluent in sewage pipeline causing extensive damage to civic body-run sewage treatment plants.

The judges accused them of pocketing crores of rupees “at the cost of human beings, people of Gujarat and ecology” and of causing irreversible condition for the Sabarmati river.

Following a drive undertaken by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation upon the HC’s directions in a suo motu PIL to disconnect sewage connections of guilty industrial units, the Gujarat Chambers of Commerce and Industries (GCCI) approached the high court and took exception to a letter that AMC wrote to industries regarding snapping of legal or illegal connections to sewage lines.

It complained that the civic body was disconnecting drainage line as well as trade affluent lines connecting to common effluent treatment plant (CETp). The bench of Justice J B Pardiwala and Justice V D Nanavati made it clear that AMC will continue with its drive and the court would initiate contempt of court proceedings against anyone who tries to interfere.

The judges told GCCI advocate, “The situation is so grim. You should have heard the experts speaking in court. A stretch of 200km of the Sabarmati is dead and gone. It is an irreversible situation. You have pocketed lakhs and crores of rupees at whose cost? At the cost of human beings, at the cost of people of Gujarat, at the cost of ecology. At the cost of pollution. This is nonsense.”

The judges made it clear that the industries have to discharge trade effluent not in sewage pipeline but in CETp which will treat it and discharge it into the Sabarmati. “They (industries) have no business discharging trade effluent in sewage lines. They have caused damage of crores of rupees. All STPs and CETps are extensively damaged. This drive will go on. We are very clear. If you have to take care of your trade effluent, you cannot have connection with sewage pipeline,” the judges told GCCI’s advocate.

Brushing aside GCCI’s objections against AMC’s action, the court further said, “You have created hell. Look at Sabarmati. It’s a dead river. Ask your chamber of commerce not to interfere.”

The judges asked AMC to disconnect every connection. AMC’s counsel told the court that the situation was abysmal and civic body employees faced threats every day due to this drive. The HC asked it to report any threat to court so that police machinery can be moved into action. The court said that industrialists are interested in gain only and AMC must continue with its work and disconnect all connections, if industries found discharging trade effluent through drainage connection to sewerage network.

The high court insisted that AMC should expose those industrialists whose units are caught connecting illegally to sewage lines. “Why are you not exposing those who are indulging in dubious tactics, playing with the river and lives of crores of people. We want this information,” the court asserted.

The HC also applauded the civic body for the work undertaken and said, “Do it. Even if you have to work at night. Do it. You are doing it for the people, for the good of society. One day, you will realise the result of these efforts. We are doing it for the next generation.”

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the LatestLaws staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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