uhal: Hc fires up Hp for flouting Ngt’s order on water release | News from Shimla

Shimla: On the issue of the state failing to discharge water from the Pandoh and Barot dams into the Beas and Uhal rivers in accordance with National Green Court orders, the High Court of Himachal Pradesh on Friday issued notices to the Secretary Chief, Principal Secretary (Environmental Science and Technology), Government of Himachal Pradesh, Chairman of HP State Pollution Control Board and Deputy Commissioner, Mandi. The case was released on May 31 for a rehearing.
The Divisional Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Sandeep Sharma adopted these orders in a motion taken up suo moto by the court as a public interest litigation, on a letter addressed to the Chief Justice, by a certain Narender Saini, Chairman, Savior Dev Bhumi Environment Forum, Mandi.
The petitioner stated that according to the order of August 9, 2017, passed by the National Green Tribunal, it is mandatory to release 15-20% of water from the dams. However, since March 27 this year, only nominal water is discharged from the Pandoh and Barot dams into the Beas and Uhal rivers.
He alleged that several inquiries were made to the relevant department and a complaint was also registered on the chief minister’s hotline number. He further alleged that the matter had also been brought to the attention of the Bilaspur Regional Pollution Control Council and that Pollution Control Council officials had even carried out an inspection of the Pandoh and Barot dams. During the inspection, the water was released for a while, but as soon as the inspection team left, the flow of water was stopped again.
It was further alleged that the dam authority was providing misinformation to the state government that they were releasing water as per standards. It is also stated by the petitioner that the Pollution Control Board has issued several show cause notices to the dam authorities but no fruitful results have come out.
The petitioner alleged that this act of the dam authorities may lead to the spread of diseases and also poses a threat to the environment and aquatic creatures. It may also lead to a shortage of drinking and irrigation water due to the lack of water released by the dam authorities, he said, saying he was working for environmental protection and had asked the indulgence of the High Court in the matter.