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Current Affairs

Ammonia spike in Yamuna river

Date: 03 November 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Water supply was affected in parts of Delhi after a spike in pollutants in the river Yamuna led to a temporary closure of two water treatment plants.

 

Background

Ammonia levels in the river have reached nearly 3 parts per million (ppm), almost six times above the acceptable limit of 0.5ppm.

 

Details

  • Ammonia levels increase frequently in the Yamuna in Delhi. Officials have credited this spike to industrial effluents and sewage released into the river in different parts of Haryana.

  • This was caused as freshwater from the Ganga was not available to mix with raw Yamuna water, which still had high concentration of ammonia.

  • The National Green Tribunal has previously made efforts for ensuring clean water and air for residents of National Capital.

 

National Green Tribunal Act

  • The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 creates a special tribunal to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues.

  • It draws inspiration from the India's constitutional provision of India Article 21 Protection of life and personal liberty, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment. 

  • The Tribunal's dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts.

  • The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.

  • The tribunal is mandated to make efforts for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.

  • Initially, the NGT is proposed to be set up at five places of sittings and will follow circuit procedure for making itself more accessible; New Delhi is the Principal Place of Sitting of the Tribunal, and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata, and Chennai shall be the other place of sitting of the Tribunal.

  • The Chairperson of the NGT is a retired Judge of the Supreme Court. Other Judicial members are retired Judges of High Courts.

  • Each bench of the NGT will comprise at least one Judicial Member and one Expert Member. Expert members should have a professional qualification and a minimum of 15 years experience in the field of environment/forest conservation and related subjects.

  • The NGT deals with civil cases under the seven laws related to the environment, these include:

  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974,

  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977,

  • The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980,

  • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981,

  • The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986,

  • The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 and

  • The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.