New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed all states and Union Territories to designate nodal agencies for the restoration of water bodies within their respective jurisdictions.
"All states/UTs may forthwith designate nodal agencies for the restoration of water bodies, wherever no such agency has so far been so designated," said a four-member NGT bench headed by its Chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel.
The NGT also directed that under the oversight of the Chief Secretaries concerned, these nodal agencies shall hold their meetings not later than January 31, 2021 to take stock of the situation and plan further steps, including directions to district authorities on further course of action up to the panchayat level and to evolve further monitoring mechanisms as well as grievance redressal mechanisms.
The bench also asked the nodal agencies to submit their reports periodically to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) or the Secretary, Jal Shakti Ministry.
"First such report may be furnished by February 28, 2021," the bench said.
The directions came as the green tribunal dealt with the issue of identification, protection and restoration of water bodies in Haryana's Gurugram.
The scope of the petition filed by Lt Col Sarvadaman Singh Oberoi through advocate Nivedita Sharma was expanded to the entire state and then to the entire country, in the interest of protection of environment.
The NGT also directed that the Central Monitoring Committee for monitoring remediation of 351 polluted river stretches, headed by Ministry Secretary, monitor the steps for the restoration of water bodies by all the states periodically, at least thrice in a year.
"The CMC may give its action reports to this Tribunal and first such report may be furnished preferably by April 30, 2021," the NGT concluded.