Fluoride Action Network

Maharashtra: NGT orders arrest of 12 district collectors

Source: DNA India (Daily News & Analysis) | December 16th, 2017 | By Sanjay Jog
Location: India

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued arrest warrants for 12 district collectors across Maharashtra and asked for them to be presented before it for allegedly defying its orders to control fluorosis disease caused by water containing fluorides.

In its order on a petition filed in 2013 by 11 socio-legal advocates working with Pune-based Sahyog Trust, NGT sent bailable warrants to the district superintendents of police of Yavatmal, Nanded, Chandrapur, Beed, Latur, Washim, Parbhani, Hingoli, Jalna, Jalgaon, Nagpur, and Bhandara.

Fluoride content in the groundwater in these 12 districts, which are largely dependent on bore wells, is very high. The NGT had issued a seven-point directive to the concerned bureaucrats and other respondents while disposing the EIL in January 2016.

However, after waiting for more than a year to receive compliance reports, the tribunal took suo motu action and issued the arrest warrants.

The petitioners said many people suffer from skeletal and dental fluorosis due to the water from wells and bore wells that have higher than permitted levels of fluoride, nitrates, iron, and alkaline content.

NGT has now asked the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to submit a consolidated action taken report.

The petitioners also brought to the NGT’s notice that bore wells or deep tube wells have been dug within 500 metres of public drinking water sources in these 12 districts.

“NGT waited for two years after disposing of the petition in January 2016 for non- compliance of its directives. Even though some of the respondents had filed responses they were not satisfactory. The directives were not implemented which must have prompted NGT’s action,” said Assem Sarode, a lawyer for one of the petitioners.

Fluorosis crisis

Warrants for allegedly defying orders to control fluorosis disease; NGT has asked Maha PCB to submit action taken reportSps of Yavatmal, Nanded, Chandrapur, Beed, Latur, Washim, Parbhani, Hingoli, Jalna, Jalgaon, Nagpur, Bhandara served

*Original article online at http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-ngt-orders-arrest-of-12-district-collectors-2568210