The ‘consent condition’ for industrial units drawing water from rivers is being reviewed in Assam at the same time with the rest of the country.
In a recent notification, the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) has asked all industrial units of Assam drawing water from rivers to release 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the flow of river for further usage by the downstream users, including villages.
The notification also made it clear that the consent to operate shall not be continued to the industry which violates the condition of the release of water as issued by PCBA, reports The Sentinel.
The copies of the ‘consent condition’ has been sent to the Commissioner and Secretary to the Government of Assam, Environment and Forest Department and all deputy commissioners of the State for the favour of information.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has carried out a study of six river basins namely Siang, Twang, Bichom, Subansiri, Dibang and Lohit.
After the study, the ministry has recommended the minimum flow of the river to be 18 per cent of the average lean season flow. However, in some cases, it has been stated to be even 20 per cent.
The recent notification issued by the PCBA is a follow-up of the recent judgement pronounced by the Green Tribunal on the river Ganga.
The Green Tribunal stated in its judgement , “In the light of the above and the clear stand taken by the Ministry, we (the Green Tribunal) direct that all the rivers of the country shall maintain minimum 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the average lean season flow. However, whichever State is unable to adhere to this average percentage, in that case we grant liberty to that State Government to move the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change who shall, in consultation with the Ministry of Water Resources, examine such a representation and if it is desirable to fix any lower percentage than the percentage aforestated.”