Court accords human status to Ganga, Yamuna

In a landmark judgement, the Uttarakhand High Court on Monday accorded the status of “living human entities” to the Ganga and Yamuna, two of India’s most sacred rivers.
Exercising extraordinary jurisdiction vested in the court, a division bench of Justices Rajeev Sharma and Alok Singh of the High Court said, “Holy rivers Ganga and Yamuna have been declared to be treated as a living human entities.”

Agreeing with advocate MC Pant, the court cited the example of river Whanganui in New Zealand which has been given such status.

Giving the “legal status” of living humans to the holy rivers, the court ordered that the Director, Namami Gange project for cleaning and rejuvenating the river, the Chief Secretary and the Advocate General of Uttarakhand will act as the “legal parents” of the holy rivers and work as a the human face to protect, conserve and preserve them and their tributaries.

These officers will be bound to “uphold the status” of the two rivers and also promote their “health and well being”, the court said.

The matter related to mining and stone crushing along the banks of the Ganga.

On a PIL filed by Haridwar resident Mohammad Salim, the court ordered the Dehradun District Magistrate to remove encroachment from the Shakti canal of the Ganga at Dhakrani within the next 72 hours.

It ordered that the DM be suspended if he failed to comply with the directive.

The petitioner contended that though the holy rivers connect the two states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, there is “no effective distribution of properties attached to their tributaries between them”.

The court also ordered the authorities to work out the division of various properties between the neighbouring states under Uttar Pradesh Re-Oganization Act, 2000, a matter pending since the inception of Uttarakhand in the year 2000.

The court also directed the government to form a Ganga Management Board within the next eight weeks in accordance with an earlier order of the court in December 2016.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath meets PM Modi

Newly appointed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath paid a visit to the capital New Delhi for the first time since assuming his post.

Adityanath met President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan and also had a meeting with Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi with whom he discussed numerous matters. UP CM was also seen in Lok Sabha.

Speaking in the lower house, he the support of all in UP’s journey of progress and reiterated his government’s commitment to law and order and good governance.

Adityanath Yogi also met BJP chief Amit Shah with whom it is believed he discussed distribution of portfolios along with the roadmap for the state government. Shah has already been quoted as saying that preparations for 2019 have begun and UP in this context is important as the party had won 73 of the 80 seats here in the last Lok Sabha elections.

He also met Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu who advised him to fast-track urban development in UP and utilise grant of 11,000 crore rupees made to the state recently under AMRUT scheme.

Earlier CM Yogi had met the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh as well as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

In his 20 minute meeting with HM Rajnath Singh who has also served as UP CM, the conversation centred around a number of matters even as the HM extended his greetings to the newly appointed government in the state.

As of now it is clear that the Yogi govt. wants to leave no stone unturned to fulfill the promises made to the people during the polls. From his first day in office announcement of commitment to transparent governance and an efficient law and order system it is clear this govt. means business.

CM Adityanath Yogi’s Delhi visit gains also significance as all eyes are on the distribution of portfolios which is on the cards soon as also the first indications of how the many election promises will be implemented.