The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted an expert committee, headed by an IIT-Mumbai faculty, to inspect the extent and specific causes of pollution in Mula, Mutha rivers.
The study would begin from the sources of discharge of untreated sewage in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad areas. The objective is to have acceptable scientific material and data on the pollution of the river and connected irrigation canal, the tribunal said.
NGT raise serious concern over the "casual statements" made by authorities, including the PCMC, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and the irrigation department. The committee has to file its report by September 1.
The bench of Justice Jawad Rahim and member Ajay A Deshpande was responding to a plea by the Shewalewadi gram panchayat sarpanch and others highlighting the severe environmental damage caused and danger to the health and survival of the local population.
Health of the environment and people are gradually degrading due to release of untreated sewage into the two rivers. "The concerns raised by the applicants are serious in nature," the bench said.
A PCMC additional municipal commissioner will be the nodal officer for executing the tribunal's order while the PMC and PCMC have been directed to provide all necessary assistance and logistic support to the expert panel.
The IIT faculty to lead the panel will be at liberty to take assistance of other experts, as he/she may require, the bench ordered. The tribunal had earlier sought affidavits and responses from the PMC, PCMC, MPCB, irrigation departments and other respondents named in the application.