Expressing anguish over the condition of the Ganga, the National Green Tribunal on Friday asked why shouldn’t the polluted river carry a health warning just like cigarette packets. “If cigarette packets can contain a warning saying it is ‘injurious to health’, why not the people be informed of the adverse effects (of the river water),” a bench, headed by NGT chairperson A K Goel, said.
Claiming that the river water from Haridwar in Uttarakhand to Unnao in Uttar Pradesh was unfit for consumption and bathing, the board said that innocent people drink and bathe in the river with reverence, without being aware of the water’s adverse affect on their health.
“We are of the view that on account of great reverence to great Ganga, innocent persons may drink and bathe without knowing that the water is unfit for consumption. 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,” Goel said.
The environment body directed the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) to install display boards at a gap of 100 kilometres, to indicate whether the water was fit for bathing or drinking. It also asked the NMCG and the Central Pollution Control Board to upload on their website, within two weeks, a prominent map showing where the water was good for bathing and drinking.
(With PTI inputs)