The offenders will be punishable under the Ganga Act, which include spoiling or defacing ghats or stairs and throwing any “offensive matter” in the river
New Delhi: River Ganga now might get her own armed guards protecting her from getting more polluted.
Yes, you read that right. National River Ganga Bill 2018 in its proposed draft asked for ‘Ganga Protection Corps’. The guards will be keeping an eye on people and arrest offenders who pollute the river.
The offenders will be punishable under the Ganga Act, which include spoiling or defacing ghats or stairs and throwing any “offensive matter” in the river. People can also be punished for offences like stone quarrying, commercial fishing without permission, deforesting hill slopes or other sensitive areas, withdrawing groundwater for organised consumption through tube wells or industrial needs.
According to the proposal, the National Ganga Council wants the corps to be raised by the ministry of home affairs.
The secretary of ministry of water resources UP Singh said that the draft was sent for interministerial circulation and will be confirmed after all ministries have seen it.
The bill also gives power to the Centre to take control of management, regulation and development of the Ganga.
“Section 54 first strongly puts the onus of those heading operations and activities of companies that are damaging the river. But then promptly adds a protective clause by saying that action will not be taken if the offence was taken without his or her knowledge. Heads of companies have to be made liable for inaction and illegalities,” said Kanchi Kohli, legal researcher at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), according to Hindustan Times.
According to reports, anyone convicted under the Ganga Act can be given jail sentence up to two years or fine of up to Rs 50,000.
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Last Updated Nov 1, 2018, 4:23 PM IST