Taking into account the rising pollution levels in Godavari river especially during Kumbh Mela, the Bombay High Court Wednesday suggested the state government to build artificial ponds for immersion. It also asked the state to decide on pending proposals on implementing various schemes for cleaning the river. The HC asked the state to file its suggestions and a budgetary report by December 17. A comprehensive order will passed on December 21.
“We suggest that you (state) have artificial ponds for kalash (pot) visarjan (immersion) and arthi (mortal remains) visarjan,” said a division bench of Justice A S Oka and S C Gupte. Giving directions to the state government, Nashik Municipal Corporation and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, the court said the concerned authorities should file their suggestions on curbing water pollution.
Additional government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani told the court that a high-power committee had made a budgetary provision keeping in mind pollution levels in the river. Vagyani said that on the next date of hearing, the court will be given the exact figures and a plan of action undertaken by the concerned bodies. The PIL, filed by Nashik-resident Rajesh Pandit, said respondents had failed, avoided and neglected to take appropriate action to prevent river pollution.
Petitioner’s lawyer Pravartak Pathak told the court that the NMC continues to dump plastic bags and discharge untreated sewage into the river. “The agricultural sector depends on the river... The water is also consumed by the locals,” stated the petition.