Maharashtra government doesn’t seem keen to check river pollution: Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today rapped the Maharashtra government saying it didn’t seem to be interested in taking any measures to prevent river pollution. A division bench of Justices A S Oka and Riyaz Chagla was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO ‘Vanshakti’ raising concerns over rivers in the state getting polluted due to sewage and other chemical discharge.

Advocate Sharmila Deshmukh, appearing for the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), told the bench that 49 rivers were found to be polluted in 2014. “The number has increased to 59 this year,” she said.

The judges said the state government didn’t seem to be interested in taking any preventive measures. “Only when there is any violation pertaining to discharge of any chemicals by some company, the state asks the MPCB (Maharashtra Pollution Control Board) to take action,” Justice Oka said. “It is time the state government sees how to stop these violations. If there is a failure on the part of the government to frame a river water preservation policy then we will pass appropriate orders directing it (government) to take preventive measures,” he said.

The High Court has posted the petition for further hearing on August 7 and asked the government to peruse the report submitted by the CPCB.

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