Uttarakhand News

Uttarakhand HC declares Ganga and Yamuna Rivers as living beings gives them legal rights

After New Zealand’s Whanganui River received the honour of being the first river to be granted the status of a living entity having legal rights of a person, a move that will help in reviving the polluted rivers. Five days later on Monday, Uttarakhand High Court declared Ganga and Yamuna rivers as living beings possessing all the legal rights of a person. Since these two rivers have received a human status, whoever will try to deteriorate the river bodies will be held responsible and complaints will be filed against the offender. The holy Ganga and Yamuna rivers are considered sacred by millions of Hindus but are among the most polluted rivers in India. Therefore, a notice has been given to the centre to set up boards for cleaning and maintaining the river bodies.

Uttarakhand HC declares Ganga and Yamuna Rivers as living beings

Src: New Zealand’s Whanganui River is the first river to be conferred with the status of a living entity

In an interview advocate, MC Pant said, “It means now Ganga and Yamuna rivers will be treated like a natural person but only through a designated person”. A bench of Justice Rajeev Sharma and Justice Alok Singh transferred the authority to the director general of Namami Gange project, Uttarakhand Chief Secretary and Advocate General to represent river Ganga. PM Modi’s highly ambitious project ‘Namami Gange’ also aims at cleaning and conserving the river. It’s a shame that Ganga which is the third largest river in the world and the holiest Hindu river is among the dirtiest river in the world. The river body is crammed with pollutants, untreated sewage and toxic industrial waste that has turned it into a dirty trickle at several places.

Uttarakhand HC declares Ganga and Yamuna Rivers as living beings

Src: The High Court’s new order will help in reviving the polluted Ganga river

Often referred to as Maa Ganga meaning Mother Ganga, the river holds a special place in the lives of the people and also finds its mention in several Hindu mythological tales and legends. This 2,500 km long river originates from Gangotri in Uttarakhand and criss-crosses several states before emptying itself in the Bay of Bengal. The river flows eternally since time anon, quenching the thirst of millions and nourishing the fertile plains.

Originating from Yamunotri in Uttarakhand, the Yamuna River is the largest tributary of Ganga. The High Court has taken the matter seriously and after hearing a petition the encroachments from the the Shakti Canal on the Yamuna river in Dehradun district will be removed. The district magistrate has asked to clear the areas in 72 hours otherwise a legal action will be taken against them. MC Pant who appeared for the petitioner Md Salim, said now anybody can file a case or complain in the name of the rivers.

Uttarakhand HC declares Ganga and Yamuna Rivers as living beings

Src: The holy river Ganga and Yamuna are among the dirtiest rivers in the world

Dehradun district magistrate Ravinath Raman said “I had earlier asked officials to remove encroachments. I will find out why it was not done and take action against concerned officials”. A month ago, the Centre approved projects worth Rs 1,900 crore for Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Delhi under the Clean Ganga campaign. Out of the total 20 projects, 13 are in Uttarakhand which will involve setting sewage treatment plants and upgrading the existing ones.