India becoming the second country to give rivers human status, accorded river Ganga and Yamuna as living entities recently during the month of March.  The decision was made by the court of Himalayan state of Uttarakhand. Keeping in mind the rapidly increasing pollution of these rivers, government took this vital step. They believed that this is considered to be the most sacred rivers in India so people might consider about things in a better way when the two rivers will be projected as living entities in front of them. The court’s order had further allowed complaints to be filed in the name of the two rivers, held sacred by millions of Hindus. It also provided the Centre with eight weeks to set up boards for cleaning and maintaining the rivers.

River ganga after being accorded with living entity received its first legal notice, from Uttarakhand high court on this Friday. The notice asked it to explain why its land was given for construction of a trenching ground. The notice was issued by a division bench of the high court comprising Justice VK Bisht and Justice Alok Singh on a PIL filed by a Rishikesh resident Swaroop Singh Pundir. Pundir claimed that the gram panchayat concerned allotted the land to the local civic body without consulting the villagers several years ago.

The public-interest litigation highlighted that a trenching ground is being constructed in village Khadri Khadag close to the banks of the holy river in gross violation of law. Issuing notice to Ganga, the Union government, central pollution control board, state pollution control board and the Rishikesh municipality, the court directed the respondents to file a reply before May 8 when the matter is slated for next hearing.

Officials made custodians of the Ganga when it was granted human status by the high court, including the chief secretary, the advocate general and the director of Namami Gange project will respond to the legal notice on behalf of the river.

Providing human entity to rivers aims for conservation and protection of these rivers so harming them would be equal to harming a human being and is equally punishable and offensive.