NGOs to revive campaign for health of rivers

NGOs to revive campaign for health of rivers

Agency News

New Delhi, Dec 20: Various non governmental organisations (NGOs), like Jal Biradari and Tarun Bharat Sangh, have decided to revive crusade for ensuring total ban on construction and other environment harming activities in the basin and river rejuvenation zones(RRZs) of all rivers in the country.

The restrictions imposed earlier on construction work and other such environment damaging and pollution causing activities in the RRZs were done away by the authorities for some years in the name of development which has caused pollution and decline in flow in rivers including the Ganga and the Godavari, Tarun Bharat Sangh chief Dr Rajendra Singh said.

Talking to UNI here on Wednesday evening, Mr Singh popularly known as 'Waterman of India', said environmentalists and water activists for long have been pressing up on this demand of re-imposing ban on such activities and ensure (environmental) health of rivers in general and the holy Ganga and Godavari in particular.

He said that a Bombay High Court judgement a couple of days ago has also endorsed our demand in context of the Godavari river.

While deciding a 6-year old PIL filed by one Jal Biradari activist Rajesh Madhukar of Nasik about pollution in the second largest river of the country after Ganga, the court asked the government for restricting above mentioned activities in river basins/RRZs, Mr Singh said.

The Division Bench in its judgement observed that the issue of health of the rivers should be treated as important as human health and an effectively active system should be evolved to ensure the care of rivers to that extent, the water activist said.

He said that a Nainital High Court bench has also expressed similar sentiments in an order almost a year ago. The court while hearing a petition ordered that the Ganga should be treated like a living entity and measures should be ensured to restore healthy flow.

However, the Uttarakhand Government has moved to the Supreme Court against the order a secured a stay order by the apex court.

"Now, we are going to write to the Government at the Centre as well as in states to take immediate measures and impose the requested ban on all the environment damaging activities in the specified zones", Singh said. (UNI)