New Delhi, Apr 9 (PTI) A plea alleging inaction by authorities to curb pollution in Singrauli and Sonebhadra districts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh respectively due to industrial and mining activities despite an order by National Green Tribunal today led the green panel to seek response from the Centre and others.

A bench headed by acting NGT Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), UP and MP governments, supervisory committee of Environment Secretaries of both states and others.

The tribunal directed the officials concerned to file their personal affidavits stating the reason for non-compliance of its order and posted the matter for hearing on May 11 .

The petition filed by advocate Ashwani Dubey has claimed that despite December 6, 2017 order of the NGT, neither the industries, nor the authorities concerned have taken any step to improve the environment in the area and people were made to suffer due to pollution.

The tribunal had earlier directed the Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh governments to install online air quality monitoring systems in Singrauli and Sonebhadra districts and ordered installation of reverse osmosis (RO) water purification plants so that the residents get potable water.

It had last year formed two supervisory committees in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh comprising secretary of the environment department of the respective states, member secretaries of state pollution control boards, district magistrates and others, who were asked to submit a monthly report on the pollution in the area.

Dubey filed the plea seeking execution of its December 6 order, saying although the committee has been formed, it has not taken any step to restore the environment of the area.

He has also sought imposition of penalty on the respondents for acting in “gross violation” of the NGT orders.

“Singrauli area is the critically polluted zone … It is necessary to bring to the attention of this tribunal that despite its orders, neither the polluters have taken any effective action, nor the committee formed by it has taken any action for default against the polluters.

“The newspaper items and photographs clearly show that nothing has happened pursuant to the directions of this tribunal and the people are made to suffer because of the pollution generated by industries,” the plea claimed.

The NGT’s earlier order had come when it had disposed of a plea filed by Dubey opposing power projects in Singrauli and Sonebhadra districts on the grounds that they were causing air and water pollution.

The lawyer had also opposed grant of sanction for any new project or expansion of existing units till an action plan for improving environment is implemented.

Earlier, a core committee set up by the NGT to inspect areas in Singrauli and Sonebhadra districts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, where coal mines and thermal plants are operating, had submitted an interim report on the environment and the health of the people.

It had submitted that heavy industrial activities in the region were a major source of pollution in the area and the ground water in the villages near Singrauli was contaminated with high fluoride and mercury concentration.

In 2015, the tribunal had constituted a core committee for monitoring of potential hazards of industrial development in Singrauli area and five sub committees for quantification of industrial pollution and impact assessment of water, air, soil and health in and around Singrauli.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.