Bound to be a ‘historical’ judgement, Uttarakhand High Court on Monday declared river Ganga as the “first living entity” of India.
The court’s ruling means that river Ganga will now enjoy all the rights that the Indian Constitution empowers to every citizen of the nation.
Speaking to the media, petitioner’s advocate MC Pant said that the High court has given all the rights available to the humans to river Ganga as well. He said that the court was given the reference to a similar ruling where a New Zealand court has also entitled a river as a living being.
The Uttarakhand court also asked the state government to form a Ganga Administration Board to ensure maintenance and cleaning of the river.
A week ago, the New Zealand government declared the country’s third-longest river Whanganui as a living entity citing religious status behind the move.
Similarly, with the court ruling river Ganga a legal identity, it will be interesting to see if the river will enjoy all the basic rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person in India.
The 2,525-km long river Ganga originates in the Himalaya and ends in the Bay of Bengal. It is also the third largest river in the world in terms of discharge.
The most sacred river to Hindus, Ganga was ranked as the fifth most polluted river in the world in 2007.