Following New Zealand, an Indian court also announced it’s two rivers as ‘living entity’. In a ruling, a High Court (HC) in India has given the river Ganges and the Yamuna the status of the “first living entity of India”.
The Indian HC also named two “legal parents” of the two rivers–the director, Namami Gange project for cleaning and rejuvenating the river and the chief secretary and the top legal officer of Uttarakhand have been charged to protect, conserve and preserve the rivers and their tributaries.
The judgment came on following a petition on a matter related to mining and stone crushing along the banks of the Ganges.
Considered the holiest river of India, the Ganges has over the last few decades become one of the most polluted rivers of the world. Various campaigns — including the “Clean Ganga” project undertaken by the Indian government and orders from various courts to treat sewage and shut down polluting industries along its banks — have failed to bring about the desired effect.
The judgment of the Uttarakhand state HC, where the two rivers originate, gives the Ganges and the Yamuna the rights similar to a living person.
Justices Rajeev Sharma and Alok Singha of the division bench cited the example of river Whanganui in New Zealand which has been given such a status.