While we suffer without enough water in summer, there is abundance of it during rains. However, maximum amount of it gets wasted and the main reason is said to be lack of preservation of waterbodies.
Pointing out that adequate steps for protection of water bodies have not been taken, the National Green Tribunal has directed all States and Union Territories (UTs) to designate a nodal agency for the exercise.
The green panel directed that under the oversight of Chief Secretaries of States/UTs, the designated nodal agency may hold its meeting not later than 31 January, 2021, to take stock of the situation and plan further steps, including directions to district authorities for further course of action.
The NGT asked the Central Monitoring Committee, formed for monitoring remediation of 351 polluted river stretches, to monitor the steps for restoration of water bodies by all the states periodically, at least thrice in a year.
The tribunal said first such monitoring may take place by 31 March, 2021. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel said, “We find that steps taken so far can hardly be held to be adequate…It helps not only aesthetics but also water availability, aquatic life, microclimate, recharge of ground water and maintaining e-flow of the rivers. Under the Public Trust Doctrine, the State has to act as trustee of the water bodies to protect them for the public use and enjoyment for current and future generations.” Protection of the environment and waterbodies are needed now more than ever.