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Gujarat HC order on Sabarmati river conservation

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Conservation and pollution related issues.

 

river conservation

Context:

Gujarat High Court had taken suo motu cognizance of the slow death of Sabarmati river due to effluent discharge. In this regard, it has delivered a judgement recently.

 

The High Court order:

  • Industrial units found to have discharged pollutants into the Sabarmati river in Gujarat will not be provided water and power.
  • They will also be penalised, named and shamed.
  • All such polluting units will also be banned from participating in any industrial fair, public-private partnership events, etc.

 

Water as a public trust:

In our Constitution, water resources are held in public trust. Therefore, the court decided to use the ‘Public Trust Doctrine’ to apply stringent provisions against permitting municipal bodies or industries from polluting rivers.

 

Challenges:

The Sabarmati, for 120 km of its 371 km course, is in its death throes. This is especially true for the stretch of the river along the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad.

  • The excessive presence of pollutants in the river and the lack of natural flow has done irreparable damage to the river.
  • Effluents and sewage from industrial units are continuously being discharged into the Sabarmati river.
  • Despite all this, industrial units have been provided legal permission to carry out these activities.

 

Need of the hour:

Rivers are our lifeline since we are completely dependent on them for our existence. The major reason behind this alarming situation is our utter ignorance and carefree attitude towards our environment and maintaining rivers and riversides.

  • So, it is high time that we take some stringent actions in this regard.
  • Each and every individual should understand that rivers belong to all of us.
  • It is a joint responsibility of each and every individual to keep them clean.

 

About Sabarmati:

  • The Sabarmati originates in the Dhebar lake situated in the southern part of the Aravalli range in the Udaipur district of Rajasthan.
  • It flows in a south-western direction, passing through Udaipur in Rajasthan and Sabarkantha, Mehsana, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad and Anand districts of Gujarat.
  • After traveling about 371 km, it falls into the Gulf of Khambhat.

 

Insta Curious:

Water privatization is often suggested as a solution to municipal budget problems and aging water systems. What is water privatization? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. River Sabarmati Flows through how many states?
  2. Tributaries.
  3. Acceptable maximum limit of ammonia in drinking water?
  4. Permissible level of Sulfate.
  5. Desirable limit of hardness of water.
  6. The desirable level of faecal coliform.

Sources: Down to Earth.