Ganges is now a living entity: Uttarakhand HC
The Uttarakhand High Court has declared that the river Ganges is a living entity.
The court lambasted the Uttarakhand state government for failing to clean up the river effectively.
The court also condemned the Centre for attempting to revive the mythical Saraswati river while existing rivers were suffering.
The court said "the Ganga should be saved for the generations to come."
Ganga: The Ganga: Introduction
The Ganga is the largest Indian river, spanning 2500-kms; it holds an irreversible, extraordinary importance in the religious lives of Hindus.
Varanasi and Patna, the world's oldest inhabited cities, are located on the banks of this river.
40% of India's population, spread over 11 states, relies on the Ganga for water.
It serves an estimated population of 500 million, larger than any river globally.
Pollution: Pollution in the Ganges
The Ganges is one of the most polluted rivers in India. It has high traces of toxic chemicals and heavy metals which were released into it by industries located near the river.
In addition, partially burned dead bodies are left adrift down the river, which then rot and add biological toxins into the river.
It also has among the lowest oxygen-content in Indian rivers.
Clean-up: Cleaning up the Ganga
The Namami Gange programme, or the National Mission for Clean Ganga is a project by the Union Government aiming at 'Ganga Rejuvenation' by merging existing efforts and creating concrete plans for the future.
Maintaining minimum ecological flows, ensuring water quality and sustainable development are some the objectives of the program.
However, these clean-up programs have not had the desired effect, so far.
20 Mar 2017: Ganges is now a living entity: Uttarakhand HC
Fact: The world's first human-river
The first river in the world to be recognized as a living entity was the 145km long Whanganui River in New Zealand on 16 March, 2017. The river enjoys the same rights as human beings.
29 Apr 2017: 'Living entity' Ganga gets a legal notice!
In a bizarre development, the Uttarakhand HC has served a notice to the Ganga and asked for a reply at the next hearing.
This comes a month after the HC recognized it as a living-entity and gave it legal rights of an individual.
Notices were also issued to the state government, Central Pollution Control Board over the creation of a garbage dump in Rishikesh.