CHENNAI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has observed that there are ‘some improvements’ in the restoration of the Cooum river but no such improvements were visible in the Adyar river and Buckingham Canal. The Southern Bench, comprising Justice K Ramakrishnan and expert member Saibal Dasgupta, observed that no short-term measures have been mentioned to prevent pollution in the Buckingham Canal until the implementation of the permanent action plan which is to be completed only next year.
On the issue of discharge of sewage and waste into the Buckingham Canal after the monsoon when it is naturally cleaned up briefly, the tribunal asked the city corporation, pollution control board, Public Works Department, metro water and the Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust (CRRT) to look into the issue and submit an independent report within three months.
The tribunal had taken suo motu cognisance of a news report published in October 2013 and issued an order on Wednesday. “The Chief Secretary, State of Tamil Nadu, is directed to file a further periodical report to this Tribunal showing the progress of the work and also considering the observation made by this Tribunal regarding short-term measures to be taken for abating the pollution that is being caused to the above said three water bodies till the proposed action plan prepared by them is finally implemented,” the order stated, referring to the Cooum, Adyar, and the Buckingham Canal.
The Bench also directed the district administration to constitute a ‘task force’ in order to initiate action against those responsible for polluting the city’s water bodies. “The Chief Secretary is also directed to consider the question of constituting a “Task Force” under the leadership of the District Collector and the District Police Authorities to supervise these water bodies routinely and take action against those persons who are causing pollution to the same by adopting illegal methods,” the order stated.