Now face up to 5 years of imprisonment for polluting Ganga, or be ready to cash in Rs 50 lakhs as the central government drafts serious measures to be adopted to rejuvenate the holy river.
One of the main proposed components is the establishment of Ganga Protection Corps (GPC), which is a body of armed forces that aim to implement these measures.
The Ministry of Water Resources Development and Ganga Rejuvenation which has opened up the draft to recommendations by public stakeholders has invited suggestions to clean up the river which spans over 2,525 km, Mirror Now reported.
The draft also includes a proposal to set up the National Ganga Council (NGC) and National Ganga Rejuvenation Authority (NGRA) to oversee the rehabilitative measures to be adopted in the future. The proposal includes heavy fines and punishment for those individuals/bodies who “obstruct the flow of river, practice commercial fishing with little or no concern.”
As per the report, any person or municipal body discharging effluents in the river can be imprisoned for five years and fined Rs 50,000 a day. Also the construction of a permanent structure in the active floodplain can result in Rs 50 lakh fine and two years in jail.
A cabinet note has been circulated to the secretaries of the concerned departments. Some of the cognisable offences that the GPC can take action on include construction work that obstructs river’s flow, commercial fishing or aquaculture in the river and its tributaries, extraction of groundwater for industrial or commercial use, discharging untreated sewage into the river.
The GPC will directly report to the local police station about any crimes/violations, and has the authority to take custody of any individual who perpetrates the crime. The body will be under the jurisdiction of the central government.
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