Govardhan, 2019-10-23 (VT): Over 5 lakh devotees took the holy dip in Radha Kund on the auspicious midnight of Bahulashtami which was celebrated on Monday. While some observed the appearance day of this holiest of pilgrimages to obtain spiritual benefits, others worshipped it for material boons, particularly for progeny.
However, forgotten amidst the religious fervour and festivity were the concerns over Radha and Shyam Kund’s water quality that were recently flagged by an NGT order dated October 11.
Responding to an application relating to remedial steps to be taken against discharge of sewage and domestic waste into the Radha Kund and Shyam Kund in the Village of Arita in Mathura District, the NGT bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel had earlier last week directed that state of the Kunds’ water being ‘unfit for consumption’ be clearly displayed as a ‘warning’ at the location.
The application was filed in response to two separate studies conducted at S.N. Medical College Agra and Department of Zoology, MSJ Govt. P.G. College in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. While the first study found the presence of bacterial infection in the waters of the two Kunds, the second one revealed that physiochemical parameters such as turbidity, alkalinity, hardness, sulphates and chlorides in the water of the Radha Kund and Shyam Kund substantially exceeded the prescribed limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Hearing the petition in May 2019, the NGT had had asked for a joint investigation and action taken report from a Committee comprising Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), District Magistrate, Mathura and Mathura Vrindavan Municipal Corporation within two months with the UPPCB acting as the nodal agency for coordination and compliance.
During the hearing on October 11, NGT found that the report submitted by the SPCB in August confirmed that the water of the Kunds was ‘unfit for consumption’ due to discharge of sewage and domestic waste. The Tribunal has directed the Mathura-Vrindavan Development Authority to clean the said Kunds and prevent discharge. The MVDA is to submit an action-taken report before November 11.
The SPCB was told to ensure control of water pollution in exercise of its authority under the provisions of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 by taking action which may include recovery of compensation on ‘Polluter Pays’ principle. The matter is listed for further consideration in December.