Ganga’s plight is no different from that of the ‘holy cow’

Pollution load in the river Ganga has increased by nearly four times from 2009 to 2016 in the stretch between Haridwar to Kanpur

New authority proposed for action against industrial units polluting Ganga

Today’s Paper : In 1985, the Supreme Court of India issued directions to various authorities to clean up the river Ganga. The Supreme Court’s intervention in M C Mehta versus the Union of India was seen as unprecedented at that time. The apex court became the epitome of judicial activism and innovation. The concept of ‘continuing mandamus’, the ‘Polluter Pay Principle’ and ‘liberal locus standi’, led to judgements of the Supreme Court being quoted the world over. Environmental jurisprudence in India was born principally out of the various orders to clean the most polluted, yet, sacred river. The ‘Ganga Pollution case‘ as it is known, is a test case to examine the efficacy of public interest litigation (PIL) as a panacea for environmental problems.

The Supreme Court itself acknowledged the ineffectiveness of its directions in order of October 29, 2014.

“We regret to say that the intervention and sustained effort made by us over the past 30 years notwithstanding no fruitful result has been achieved so far, except shutting down of some of the polluting units. This is largely because while orders have been passed by us, the implementation remains in the hands of statutory authorities including the CPCB and the State PCBs which have done practically nothing to effectuate those orders or to take independent steps that would prevent pollution of the river. A total lack of monitoring by the Statutory bodies has contributed to the current state of affairs”.

The above observation reflects the sorry state of implementation of orders and disdain for the orders of even the highest Constitutional court of the country. The court felt that given the necessity of close monitoring of the cleaning of the river, the National Green Tribunal is better placed to adjudicate on the issue and in October 2014, transferred the case to the NGT. | Readmore…

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