The National Green Tribunal on Friday expressed its anguish over the condition of the Ganga, saying the water from the river between Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh was unfit for drinking and bathing.
“If cigarette packets can contain a warning saying it is ‘injurious to health’, why not inform people about the adverse effects [of the river water]?” a bench headed by the tribunal’s chairperson Justice AK Goel said, according to PTI.
The bench said that “innocent people” drink the water from the Ganga and bathe in it “out of reverence and respect”. “They do not know that it may be dangerous to their health,” the bench said.
The tribunal then directed the National Mission for Clean Ganga to install display boards at a gap of 100 km indicating whether the water was fit for bathing or drinking, The Indian Express reported. It also asked the National Mission for Clean Ganga and the Central Pollution Control Board to upload a map on their websites, that indicates locations where the water was fit for consumption and bathing. The authorities have two weeks to complete the task.
“It is of utmost necessity to comply with the right to live of persons using Ganga water and they are put to notice about the fitness of water,” the bench said.
On July 19, the tribunal said no effective steps were taken to clean the Ganga river and the situation was “extraordinarily bad”. In February, the tribunal criticised the Centre for “wasting public money” in the name of the Namami Gange project. “Not a single drop of river Ganga has been cleaned so far,” it had told the government.