Jira River Pollution, Garbage Disposal In Odisha’s Bargarh: NGT Forms Panel, Seeks Report

Bhubaneswar: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday ordered the constitution of a joint committee to inspect and submit a report over disposal of solid waste and untreated sewage in Jira river by the Bargarh municipality.

According to sources, garbage is being dumped in the open without any classification in Ward No. 16 by the Bargarh municipality, polluting the air and soil. Untreated sewage is also being discharged in Jira river.

A petition was filed stating that residents of the area are facing several problems because of this. Despite repeated complaints to the district administration, the issue remained resolved.

A social worker, Ramakanta Rout, and six others then approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

According to the petitioners, the Bargarh municipality has been discharging sewage water/waste water in Jira river without setting up any facility for treatment. The civic body has also been dumping garbage over an area of 1.5 acres adjoining residential areas without the required bio-mining, they said.

A bench comprising Justice B Amit Sthalekar (Judicial Member) and Justice Saibal Dasgupta (Expert Member) ordered the formation of a joint committee comprising Bargarh District Collector, Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Bargarh municipality Executive Officer. The team has been directed to make a spot inspection and submit a report.

The OSPCB has also been directed to test the water quality of Jira river flowing by Bargarh, which caters to the drinking water needs of the town.

The NGT also mentioned that the compensation for environmental damage should be calculated and submitted at the rate of Rs 1 lakh per month.

The next hearing is on September 30.

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