The Bombay High Court on Monday was incensed on the Maharashtra government’s “illegal” decision to release water for Shahi Snan during the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Nashik. The court ordered to take effective steps for reducing the amount of water to be released on September 18. The Kumbh Mela started on July 14 and the next Shahi Snan is now on September 18.
The government has allowed 1TMC for each event.The state had already released two TMC (thousand million cubic) water from Nashik’s Gangapur dam for the holy bath and is due to release 1TMC more on September 18 before the last dip will be taken. The court was told that there are three such ‘shahi snans’ or royal baths during the Kumbh.
The petitioner, who argued in person, informed the court that the release of water does no service to any religion, but the precious natural resource could be utilized better in a state which is suffering from drought. Later Professor Desarda said, “There is a lack of resource literacy.”
“The government has a policy which categorizes its priority list as regards supply of water. As per the policy, the supply of water for drinking purposes comes first and the supply of water for religious ceremonies comes in the last and fourth category. The court stated, “When the state is reeling under drought what you (government) have done is illegal.”
The state and central governments have also decided to spend approximately Rs 1,000 crore for organizing Kumbh Mela which, a lawyer said was “an outrageous attack on the constitutional principle of secularism.”
The court posted the matter for further hearing on September 21 and asked the government to reconsider its action before releasing more water as scheduled later this week.
The PIL said the water so released would be a “sheer waste, given the drought situation in the state and the grave danger it posed to human survival”. The scarcity of water has lead many farmers to suicide and hence the water release from dams is violation of the State and National Water Policy which gives preference to water usage firstly for drinking needs, secondly for agriculture needs and thirdly for commercial needs.
Src : timesofindia.indiatimes.com (Image Src)
Last Updated On: November 12, 2015