While political posturing in India over the state of the River Ganges – considered sacred by Hindus – has reached a new high during the country’s current election season, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has decided to do something about it.

On Tuesday India’s fast-track court for environmental issues ordered the inspection of nearly 1,000 industries in Uttar Pradesh (UP) – the country’s most populous state – for releasing untreated effluents into the river.

Narendra Modi, the opposition BJP-led coalition’s candidate to become India’s next Prime Minister, is campaigning to be elected as Member of Parliament for Varanasi, the holy city on the banks of the Ganges. Modi, who’s home and power base is in the eastern state of Gujarat, says he’s running in the UP city not because his political party told him to but because he felt he felt “Mother Ganges” has called him to contest for the constituency.

In response to Modhi’s hubris, Arvind Kejriwal – leader of the anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party – also decided to run for election in Varanasi. The city has also attracted high-profile campaign visits from Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, scion of India’s most famous political dynasty.

From the bench of the NGT has directed India’s Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) and National Ganga River Basin Authority to jointly conduct these inspections. It issued the order after UPPCB submitted a list of 956 industries that are polluting the Ganga and its tributaries. These units mostly include tanneries, paper pulp manufacturing units, pesticide and chemical units, sugar mills and distilleries, among others.

Courtesy: cleanbiz.asia

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