A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the plea of the ministry seeking eight months time is unreasonable.
"The prayer appears to be unreasonable and delaying the matter to the detriment of public interest. Though the applicant (petitioner NGO) suggests that delay will advance commercial interest of those benefitted by delay, we do not propose to go into such allegation in absence of any clear evidence," the bench said.
The tribunal said that its order was based on a report of an expert committee, which also comprised representative of the MoEF, and is enforceable without permission of any other authority with penal consequences.
"Accordingly, MoEF may now issue the necessary notification in the light of the direction already issued in accordance with the report of the expert committee and cover not only the subject of recovery of RO reject water in domestic and commercial use but also in industrial process," the bench said.
The tribunal also directed the Central Ground Water Authority to furnish data with regard to availability of groundwater within a week, failing which the Member Secretary of CGWA will be liable to pay Rs 1 lakh cost.
The member secretary, CGWA, and the MoEF joint secretary concerned may remain present in person, along with compliance reports on the next date, the bench said while posting the matter for hearing on November 4.
In a bid to regulate the use of RO purifiers, the NGT had directed the government to prohibit them where total dissolved solids (TDS) in water are below 500 mg per litre and sensitise public about the ill-effects of demineralised water.
The tribunal has also asked the government to make it mandatory to recover more than 60 per cent water wherever RO is permitted across the country.
TDS is made up of inorganic salts as well as small amounts of organic matter. As per a WHO study, TDS levels below 300 mg per litre are considered to be excellent, while 900 mg per litre is said to be poor and above 1200 mg is unacceptable.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a water treatment process that removes contaminants from water by using pressure to force molecules through a semipermeable membrane.
The order had come after perusing an expert committee report which said that if TDS is less than 500 milligrams per litre, a RO system will not be useful but will result in removing important minerals as well as cause undue wastage of water.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by NGO Friends seeking conservation of potable water by preventing its wastage on account of unnecessary use of Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems. PTI PKS IJT
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI