Will Ganga be cleaned in 200 years, asks SC
The Narendra Modi government\'s ambitious poll promise to depollute the River Ganga came under severe scrutiny on Wednesday in the Supreme Court which said it seems that steps taken so far would not lead to cleaning of the country\'s holiest river even after 200 years.
- Says Centre’s plan won’t see clean Ganga this century
- Calls for detailed Powerpoint presentation in three weeks
- Evaluate the dream project and restore Ganga to its pristine glory, it said
New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government's ambitious poll promise to depollute the River Ganga came under severe scrutiny on Wednesday in the Supreme Court which said it seems that steps taken so far would not lead to cleaning of the country's holiest river even after 200 years. The apex court directed the Centre to come out in three weeks with a "stage-wise plan" to clean the river for "restoring it to its pristine glory".
The issue of River Ganga is being monitored by the apex court and several applications have been filed during last several years. The court has been hearing a two decade-old PIL filed by environmentalist MC Mehta on the cleaning of the river and setting up sewage treatment plants alongside it since 1985.
"After seeing your action plan, it seems Ganga will not be cleaned even after 200 years. Evaluate the dream project. You have to take steps to restore Ganga to its pristine glory. Please try that the next generation is able to see the river in its original form. We don't know whether we will see it or not," a bench comprising justices TS Thakur and R Banumathi observed.
"You have given a very bureaucratic kind of explanation. We want to see it in a layman's language as to how you are proceeding with the project," the bench told Solicitor-General Ranjit Kumar after perusing the affidavit filed by Uma Bharti's Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga rejuvenation.
The bench, which asked the solicitor general to file a supplementary affidavit, said power point presentation would help in understanding the stage-wise action plan. It specifically asked the government to apprise it about the steps taken in ecologically sensitive areas from Gangotri to downstream 135km of the river as "no follow-up steps have been taken up" after the 2003 notification.
The bench posted the matter for hearing on September 24. The ambitious ‘Ganga Action Plan’ to clean the river was launched by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985.