From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Kumbh, NGT
Mains level : Solid Waste Management; Prospects and Challenges
- Both the governments, at the Centre and Uttar Pradesh, claimed to have organised a ‘swachh’ — clean — Kumbh in the winter of 2018-19, but the NGT seems to differ.
- In fact, the quasi judicial body rang alarm bells about host city Allahabad being on the the verge of an epidemic.
Alarms raised by NGT
- While predicting a rise in case of acute diarrhoea, enteric fever, viral hepatisis and cholera, the NGT said responsibility needs to be fixed so an epidemic can be prevented.
Why Kumbh left an epidemic behind?
I. Poor solid waste management
- The green bench flagged poor solid waste management during the months-long religious gathering.
- The NGT said 60,000 metric tonnes (mt) of solid waste had been collected at nearest SWM Plant which was lying untreated.
- Of this, 18,000 mt was generated in Kumbh, but the plant was not operational since September 2018.
II. Polluted Groundwater
- Also, the tribunal pointed out that groundwater too has been polluted.
- Dirty water from toilets was being collected in kutcha pits.
- The base of the soak pits had not been lined and the dirty water could percolate underground.
III. Ganga , the ultimate sufferer
- The NGT found that a large number of toilets were constructed very close to the river.
- The nearby geotubes had more sewage than it could treat.
- The geo tube was not working satisfactorily and 50 per cent of the sewage from the drain was trapped and the rest was going into the Ganga.
IV. No lesson learnt from past
- This is not the first Kumbh to have come under criticism for poor managment.
- Things were far from perfect during the last Kumbh as well.
- The CAG of India’s audit report of the event read, that no effective planning for protection of environment and pollution control was made for the Maha Kumbh.