M C Mehta: The judgment is very important because the judgment not only sets guidelines to be followed to tackle the pollution in Ganga, but also highlights the several problems the river is facing today. The biggest positive of the judgment is that it identifies the problem of waste disposal near the river and has demarcated an area of metres from the river as a no-disposal zone. These two are the biggest positives of the judgment.
While there is no downside as such, the only concern about the judgment is whether it will be adhered to or not. Before this judgment, a Supreme Court judgment had also directed the then Uttar Pradesh government to relocate the tanneries from Kanpur to somewhere else. Not only was the judgment not adhered to, but since then, the number of tanneries has grown from 70 to It remains to be seen how the state government will complete the relocation within six weeks.
Question: This writ petition was filed in What prompted you to file the petition and where does the case stand 32 years later? M C Mehta: I had filed the case in April when I found out about a section of the river catching fire in Haridwar. This surprised me because I had never heard of such an incident before. On investigating more, I found out that in Bahadarabad in Haridwar, an open drain was dumping toxic effluents into the river and their accumulation had resulted in the river become inflammable.
Someone had thrown a lit matchstick in the drain, which resulted in the toxic effluents to catch fire. It took nearly 30 hours for the authorities to douse the fire which had spread over a kilometre.
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This arrested my attention and I spent some time in the adjoining areas and found out that in the holy places, the river was most polluted and mistreated. These two instances made me realise that industries along the Ganga belt had zero regard for environmental norms. I had filed the writ petition demanding only that industries situated near the Haridwar and Rishikesh belt of the river be relocated.
But 32 years later, the case has become about ensuring overall cleanliness of the river and getting to the bottom of the expenditure incurred in cleaning the Ganga and why none of it has reflected till now. Question: Exactly how much do you think has been invested in Ganga cleanup so far?
M C Mehta: The precise amount is difficult to determine, as even the government has not been able to give exact data on expenditure during the hearings. Rs 7, crore is what can be accounted for, and this is a combined figure spent by Central and state governments, as well as civic bodies and panchayats. The actual figure is definitely much more as Ganga cleanup programmes at Central and state levels have existed since the s.
Question: But why have successive governments, as well as local bodies failed to clean the Ganga despite the allocation of thousands of crores?
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M C Mehta: It is clear that some level of corruption has existed across the ministries, pollution control boards and civic bodies which had been part of Ganga cleanup projects. The Ganga Action Plan launched by Rajiv Gandhi was one of the most expensive programmes at that time.
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The subsequent plans have also seen allocation of amounts no less than hundreds of crores. But the corruption angle apart, there are several other reasons why the Ganga cleanup plans were utter failure. Not only do concerned authorities have no idea about the expenditure, but they have also failed to adhere to court judgments and hold accountable officials who have been part of Ganga cleanup programmes. Shipped from UK. Established seller since Seller Inventory IQ Delivered from our UK warehouse in 4 to 14 business days. Items related to Chandra's Quest. Chandra's Quest.
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Xenos and Chandra leave Southern Atlan. Chandra's Life at the brothel ends but her quest begins. The implant in her head is just the beginning. Her journey will take her to lands she has never seen before and dangers she must face along the way. Join her as her Quest continues. Show More Show Less. Add to Cart. Ratings and Reviews Write a review.
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