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Court Rulings Help in Checking Pollution in Ganga River

Pollution levels in the Ganga River continue to rise but certain court rulings are helping in checking pollution in the River. A series of decisions by courts have stopped giant construction projects near Ganga and also made it mandatory for cities on the banks of Ganga to have waste treatment plants.
National Geographic News reports 
Three sacred rivers – Ganga, Saraswati and Yamuna meet at Allahabad
In the dry season the Ganges limps into town, dark with sewage and industrial waste. Pollution is heavy even at the height of the monsoon. The Yamuna arrives burdened by raw sewage from New Delhi, some 1,900 million untreated liters (502 million gallons) each day. 
Past rescue efforts have failed due to fatal gaps in planning, implementation, and administration, said professor B.D. Tripathi, of the Center for Environmental Science & Technology at Benares Hindu University
Important changes are happening on the ground, thanks partly to rulings by the Allahabad High Court that:

  • Squashed both a planned eight-lane, 650-mile(1,050-kilometer) expressway and giant housing projects destined for its floodplain. 
  • Forced construction of more than a dozen waste treatment plants in Kanpur, Allahabad, and Varanasi
  • Stopped the excessive diversion of Ganges water to upstream irrigation projects and cities. 
  • Last month ordered the closure of tanneries in Kanpur.
 These orders, if properly carried out, will change decades-old practices, costing developers and factory owners many millions of dollars. They could also harm the bureaucrats and politicians who often feed off public works projects and big industrial polluters. 
Court orders are one thing. Implementation is another, cautions Rakesh Jaiswal, of the Kanpur-based NGO EcoFriends. "The court has directed the government not to release untreated sewage and industrial effluent into Ganga [the Ganges] on several occasions," he said, "but it's still happening."
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