The river Ganga has got its first legal notice after it was recently declared a “living entity” by the Uttarakhand High Court. The court on Friday sent a notice to it, the state government, state pollution control board, Rishikesh Nagar Palika and Central Pollution Control Board asking why land was given to construct a garbage dump in Rishikesh.

A division bench comprising justices VK Bisht and Alok Singh were hearing a plea filed by Rishikesh resident Swaroop Singh Pundir regarding a 10-acre plot of land on the Ganga that was set aside to build a garbage dump, PTI reported. In his plea, Pundir said that several years ago, the local panchayat had given the land to the civic body without consulting people who lived in the area. Pundir pointed out that on one hand, the state and Centre have been spending massive amounts of money to clean the river, but that the state was now allowing a dumpyard to be made right on the river.

The bench asked for a reply from the respondents by May 8, when the case will be heard next.