NGT says the vegetables grown on the Yamuna floodplains in New Delhi are 'highly contaminated' and their consumption could lead to cancer
New Delhi: In a significant move, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has prohibited cultivation of edible crop on the floodplains of Yamuna in New Delhi, saying the vegetables grown there were “highly contaminated" and their consumption could lead to cancer.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar, in a recent judgement, said the vegetables and crops grown on the floodplains were highly contaminated and their consumption may lead to serious ailments like cancer.
“It is an established fact that presently, vegetables, fodder grown and allied projects at the flood plain of river Yamuna are highly contaminated. Besides containing ingredients of high pollutants, such produce is even found to contain metallic pollutants...
“Therefore, we direct that no authority shall permit and no person shall carry out, any edible crops /fodder cultivation on the Flood Plain. This direction shall strictly be adhered to till Yamuna is made pollution free and is restored to its natural wholesomeness," the bench said.
The Tribunal, however, has allowed restricted activities of floriculture and silviculture subject to specific permissions and restrictions. A 2012 study carried out by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) had indicated the presence of heavy metals in vegetables that were grown with water from the Yamuna.
The tribunal’s verdict came while hearing a petition filed by Manoj Kumar Mishra of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, seeking a ban on dumping of rubble into Yamuna and ensuring cleaning up of the river.