In a first, Uttarakhand HC issues notice to ‘living entity’ Ganga, seeks reply
The Uttarakhand high court, in a landmark verdict on March 20, had granted the Ganga and the Yamuna river the legal identity and rights of a person as laid out in the Constitution of India.india Updated: May 07, 2017 08:00 IST
The Uttarakhand high court on Friday issued notice to the Ganga, just over a month after the river was declared a living entity.
This is the first time that the river, considered holy by the Hindus, has been served legal notice after the Uttarakhand high court, in a landmark verdict on March 20, granted it and the Yamuna river the legal identity and rights of a person as laid out in the Constitution of India
A bench of justices VK Bisht and Alok Singh also issued notice to the state government, state pollution control board, Rishikesh Nagar Palika and Central Pollution Control Board seeking their reply by May 8 on a PIL challenging the government proposal to create a garbage dump in Rishikesh.
The PIL, filed by Swarup Singh Pundir, the gram pradhan (village head) of Khadak Maf village, through his counsel Gopal K Verma, claimed that the Ganga flows on two sides of the 10-acre land earmarked for the garbage dump.
As per the petitioner, a proposal to create the garbage dump was made in 2015 and after securing the required approvals, including from the National Green Tribunal, a detailed project report (DPR) has been prepared.
In his petition, Pundir, said that on one hand, the government was spending crores of rupees to clean the river under the Namami Gange project while on the other hand it was allowing construction of a garbage dump spread over 10 acre land that has Ganga flowing on its two sides. Pundir said the garbage would seep into the river during the rain further polluting it and defeating the very purpose of the Namami Gange project.
Hearing the PIL, the bench issued notice to all the respondents, including Ganga (respondent no. 2) asking them to file their replies during the next hearing.