The Uttarakhand High Court has asked the state government and district magistrates of all 13 districts to “identify” and “seal” the industries, hotels, ashrams etc, that are polluting rivers in the state including the Ganga and its tributaries by releasing untreated sewage.
A bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Alok Singh ordered that pollution in the Ganges will not be tolerated and any industry, hotel or guesthouse without sewage treatment plants must be sealed within three weeks if they are draining their waste into the holy river.
Earlier, after the order of the high court, 150 establishments polluting the Ganga had been shut down.
Keeping in view the biodiversity of the state, the court also ordered that National Parks including Tiger Reserve, Elephant Reserve, Jim Corbett and Rajaji National Park be declared plastic free zones.
No visitor shall be permitted to carry plastic bags into these parks except two water bottles each. Empty water bottles shall be handed over to the staff at exit points. Persons manning entry and exit points shall ensure due compliance of the order, it said.
On disaster management in the state, the court opined that taking into consideration the topography and geography of the area, there is still a requirement of sufficient number of sarais/accommodation in the Char Dhams and Hemkund Sahib to save the lives of pilgrims.
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