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STPs in Badrinath need to 'properly disinfect' effluents before discharge into Alaknanda: NGT

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New Delhi, Jan 15 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal has observed that the sewage treatment plants in Badrinath are discharging water with exceeding faecal coliform levels into the Alaknanda river and asked authorities to ensure that the effluents are "properly disinfected".

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The NGT was hearing a plea about the improper functioning of the two operational sewage treatment plants (STP) in Uttarakhand's Badrinath.

The petition mentioned that this negligence was resulting in the discharge of untreated or polluted water into the Alakananda river, which ultimately forms a part of Ganga. The pollution of Alaknanda in this manner contravened the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities order of 2016, the plea stated.

In the order passed last week, a bench of NGT Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava noted that the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board (UKPCB) had filed a report on the status of waste management projects in the Badrinath.

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The bench also comprising judicial member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and expert member A Senthil Vel said the two STPs in Badrinath were discharging water with excess faecal coliform into the Alaknanda river.

"We find from the results of STPs that faecal coliform has been exceeding and there is a necessity to properly disinfect the effluents," it said.

Noting another discrepancy in UKPCB's report, the tribunal said the board failed to disclose the adequacy of the two STPs, particularly during the peak tourist season.

It adjourned the matter to March 6, saying that another petition regarding the larger issue of the carrying capacity of pilgrims in ‘Char Dham’ of Uttarakhand-Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri was pending before the tribunal.

In ecological terms, 'carrying capacity' refers to the number of people, animals, or crops which a region can support without environmental degradation. PTI MNR RPA

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