Water & River

April 28, 2018

*Ground Water Depletion (DELHI-NCR): We have worked enormously for the conservation of water.

CASE STUDY

During the water awareness campaign in the year 2012-13, it was realized that the amount of water a builder wastes in Noida and Greater Noida in just one day is equal to water used by a village of atleast10000–12000 peoples in one entire year. It was observed that most of the builders in Noida, Gr. Noida and Delhi NCR area extracted fresh ground water for their construction business purposes. They then release their unused /untreated water into public drains which can be highly toxic and dangerous for the welfare of the environment and its citizens.

This practice was leading to depletion of ground water at a fast rate. S.A.F.E members approached many departments to stop wastage of groundwater including CGWB as well most of the efforts went into vain. Finally we approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the efforts bore result. Groundwater extraction was banned by NGT on our Petition. Thus millions of liters of groundwater were saved that was being wasted daily on the name of De-water. Now, about 500 under construction real estate sites are using treated water of Sewage treatment plant (STP). STP Water is being purchased from the local authority. The authority has also received revenue in crores.

*Work for Pond rejuvenation:There is an urgent need to maintain the water level of the ponds in India. There is great threat to the existence of ponds by constant encroachment and pollution. In most of the places it is seen that people are no longer emotionally attached to ponds as used to be the case in earlier times. To spread more awareness on the necessity of ponds and its sustenance, we have started many programs. Recently we are working rejuvenation of pond in Greater Noida in collaboration with other NGOs/forums.

* Rain water harvesting:Rain water harvesting (RWH) implementation is very poor in many Indian cities. We have started our campaign to create mass awareness for RWH and we have focused on Delhi Metro Rail in our first phase. We found there is no proper RWH implemented in Metro Stations, tracks and depots. We are working in close connection with the DMRC to implement the same.

Illegal Packaged water plants: Illegal bottled (Packaged) water plants are found in many places. Most of these plants do not use standard and safe practices, due to which ground water level is depleting, and working against the health of the people. So control on illegal packaged water is necessary. We have been working for its control for several years. Till now, we have been able to successfully contain 30 such illegal plants in Noida, Gr. Noida.

* Detergents waste issue: Water sources are constantly being polluted due to some detergents being used at homes particularly to wash cloths and vehicles. The detergent waste is high in phosphate, which leads to water pollution. There is an urgent need to reduce the use of phosphate in detergent products. There is no proper permissible standard that has been set for phosphate levels in detergents.Internationally, phosphate levels are controlled and kept at low levels. In India we are fighting for such policies to curb phosphate levels.

River Rejuvenation :

*Ganga pollution control: Rivers of the country are continuously dying, therefore it is very necessary to save them. We are committed to free our rivers from pollution.  We have started our work on river Ganga, Yamuna, Hindan.

S.A.F.E. filed a petition against Simbhavali Sugar Mill (Hapur, UP) in NGT as the mill was causing pollution. Due to our intervention, they were asked to pay a fine of Rs 5 crores and an order was provided to stop the pollution.

S.A.F.E. has also done a lot of work against river mining. When after repeated complaining about mining along river Ganga, mining did not stop in Uttarakhand, SAFE filed a lawsuit in the National Green Tribunal, after which mining was banned (in a particular area) in 2017.

HindanBachaoAbhiyan: Hindan,Kali & Krishna are one of the most polluted rivers of Western UP. This is also the cause of many waterborne diseaseincluding major illnesses likecancer due to heavy load of untreated industrial effluents containing excess BOD, COD, ZERO Dissolved Oxygen, heavy metal, pesticides from agricultural runoff and Persist organic pollutantsnear villages situated close to flood plains. We are working for control of these hazardous pollutants and their impact on health. We launched the Hindan Kali & Krishna BachaoAbhiyan.Our work provoked the district authority to include S.A.F.E. as a member of “Hindan BachaoSamiti” at district level.

* Stone Crushers at Hindan river bank:S.A.F.E.has raised the issue about unauthorized stone crushers situated on the banks of Hindan River with authorities at different levels and with the Pollution Control Boards in Noida / Ghaziabad about the air pollution that has been caused in the Hindan River destroying flora and fauna in theriver flood plains.In addition to this, S.A.F.E. is also working in Delhi NCR where Yamuna River has been polluted. The polluting industries are being closely monitored and representations are being made to the concerned departments.

*Ban on Beach Camp (Rishikesh,Uttrakhand):Camps are being set up on the banks of Holy Ganga at Rishikesh for the last couple of years for river rafting in about 50 kilometers stretch of river. Thereby affecting the environment and local ecology there. There was also a violation of environment laws and rules.

Beach camps should be allowed only in flood plainsthat too after doing a thorough wildlife and environment impact study. Due to our efforts, there was a ban on the operation of beach camps on the flood plains and only a few camps were allowed.Now there is no disturbance in the wildlife corridor on that side and the pollution as well has reduced considerably.

*EC of Bridge (Rivers):S.A.F.E. filed a petition which demanded the government to take Environmental Clearance (EC) for construction of bridge at Yamuna River in Delhi. So far, taking Environmental clearance for construction of bridge over river was not a requirement in the country. But with S.A.F.E.’s efforts, a law stating so has been formed. The Environment clearance for bridge construction is necessary to reduce the impact on the river due to the construction of the bridge.

We are also demanding for environmentclearancesto be obtained river bridges as well.Because bridgesdo have some negative impact on river ecology. We have discussed our issue with concerned departments but not much action was taken. Finally, we had to move the National Green Tribunal.

One such case was about our demand for environmental clearance should be taken for the Signature Bridge being built on Yamuna in Delhi. The NGT considered our issue and ordered that environment clearance should be taken for Signature Bridge.