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Ganga pollution: File affidavits within 3 weeks, says SC

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 31 (UNI) The Supreme Court today directed the Central government, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the states through which Ganga flows to file affidavits within three weeks detailing up to date information regarding the progress made in the direction of cleaning the holy river.

A bench comprising chief justice Y.K. Sabharwal, Mr. Justice C.K.

Thakker and Mr. Justice R.V. Raveendran issued the directions after having been informed by the amicus curiae Krishan Mahajan that about Rs. 1000 crores have already been spent and Ganga has become more polluted than before.

Mahajan also informed the court that the government was suppressing information from the court just to cover up its failure to implement the plan to free the Holy river from pollution.

The river passes through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,West Bengal and Uttaranchal and lakhs of people are dependent on it for their daily requirement of water.

The court was also informed that keeping in view the importance of the project the committee of the Centre was headed by the Prime Minister himself. The state monitoring committes were headed by their chief secretaries.Mahajan also told the court that lakhs of people using Ganga water were falling ill and were suffering from diseases such as Typhoid,skin diseases while the project was aimed at ensuring health of the people.

The union ministry of Environment has not filed even a single report in the court till date and in 1994 the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) gave the report that despite money having been spent the Ganga remained as polluted as before. In2000 the CAG report pointed towards huge financial mismanagement and the bacterial levels in Ganga had gone up beyond prescribed limits.

Mahajan also informed the court that both the CAG reports have been concealed from the court by the Centre and they were accountable to this court. The litigation is pending in this court for over 16 years. The present messy state of affairs clearly point towards huge financial bungling and misappropriation of public funds by those handling the Ganga cleansing project.The pollution level have only risen and conditions since 1984 have only worsened and no reduction in pollution levels in the Holy river seems insight in near future. Ganga is in a mess due to discharge of effluents by the industries and factories and also by local civic bodies.It may be noted here that the condition of another Holy river Yamuna is no better.

UNI/AKS/SC RP HT1800

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