Home / Politics / Policy /  SC asks Centre to submit stage-wise plan for cleaning Ganga

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday criticised the central government’s affidavit on the massive Ganga cleaning project as a “bureaucratic response" and asked it to furnish a revised stage-wise proposal.

A bench of justices T.S. Thakur and R. Banumathi demanded a detailed plan so that the court could monitor the process at every stage. “Talk to experts. What is the vision of someone who has done all the research?" justice Thakur asked. “If you want our assistance in enforcing or expediting the process, you tell us. We’ll use the legal process to do so," he added.

“After seeing your action plan, it seems Ganga will not be cleaned even after 200 years. Evaluate the dream project. You have to take steps to restore Ganga to its pristine glory," the bench remarked.

The government’s affidavit, a copy of which Mint has reviewed, outlines four basic objectives: “Maintaining ecological flow of the water, abatement and mitigation of various types of pollution in the river, restoring ecological sanctity of the river and creating awareness about the sanctity of the river and ensuring people’s participation in the process."

Several “multi-institutional, multi-dimensional and multi-sectoral" plans were also mentioned, including a consortium of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) which is to finalize the Ganga river basin management and a report by a group of secretaries, to forward issues connected with the achievement of their mentioned objectives.

The court also asked the government to include in its supplementary affidavit information regarding steps taken in pursuance of notifying a 135 km stretch downstream from Gangotri as “ecologically sensitive zone". It was the contention of petitioner M.C. Mehta that no action regarding the same had been taken.

The court also asked the government to include a PowerPoint presentation of its plan.

PTI contributed to this story.

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