December 17, 2017
After waiting for over a year for compliance report, the tribunal took suo moto action to issue warrants against the collectors.
National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued arrest warrants against twelve District Collectors of Maharashtra for non-compliance of the directives issued by the NGT related to bore wells.
Last year, while disposing an Environment Interest Litigation (EIL) regarding high % of fluorosis in Marathwada & Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, the NGT had issued 7-point directives.
These were issued to district collectors of Bandara, Nanded, Latur, Beed, Washim, Parbhani, Hingoli, Jalna, Chandrapur, Jalgaon & Yavatmal Nagpur where the dependence on bore wells as a water source is very high & the fluoride levels in groundwater is high too.
A Pune based trust-‘Sahyog Trust’ had filed the petition in 2013 seeking to highlight the impact of high fluoride content in groundwater on social, environment & health aspects in these 12 districts.
Health Ministry officials, secretaries of various depts., regional offices of the state pollution board were the other respondents in the case. The NGT had suggested time-bound implementation of its 7-point directives to tackle to the problem.
All these districts have a large no. of bore wells. The NGT had observed that there had been violations of the norms & rules regulating the depth of the borewells as well as the distance between 2 such wells.
“After disposing of the petition in January 2016, the NGT waited for almost 2 years & has taken a suo-moto action for non-compliance of directives. Some of the respondents had filed responses but they weren’t satisfactory & the directives weren’t implemented. This must’ve prompted the action,” said Adv. Aseem Sarode, 1 of the petitioners.
Warrants are bailable, he added.