The Uttarakhand High Court has directed the Haridwar Municipal Corporation to provide 100 state-of-the-art changing rooms and construct 300 toilets at the Har Ki Paudi area and other major ghats of river Ganga.
A bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sharad Kumar Sharma said so in a string of directions passed by it in a PIL titled Narendra Vs State of Uttarakhand and others, stressing on absolute cleanliness at the ghats along river Ganga, which has been given the status of a living entity by the high court.
During the hearing, Lalit Narain Mishra, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Haridwar, informed the bench that 25 changing rooms have already been provided while 71 toilets are operational on all ghats but pointed out shortage of land for erecting more toilets.
He also apprised the court that 16 CCTV cameras are already installed while tenders have been called for installing 72 more CCTV cameras to ensure that the ghats are not littered and absolute cleanliness is maintained.
While appreciating the efforts of the civic agencies, the bench passed a string of directions as under:
A.There shall be a direction to respondent no.4 (municipal corporation) to complete the tender process within a period of 15 days and to install the remaining 72 C.C.T.V. Cameras at Ghats within a period of one month from today.
B. Respondent no.4 is directed to maintain the toilets at “Kusha Ghat” properly in future also.
C. Respondent no.4 is also directed to at least provide hundred State-of-the-art changing rooms, out of which 50 shall be set up at Har Ki Pedi and other connected Ghats, and remaining would be provided on major Ghats. These changing rooms shall be maintained properly and the highest woman Officer serving in the Municipal Corporation, Haridwar shall visit these changing rooms every day to ensure their cleanliness and maintenance. Respondent no.4 is also directed to construct at least 300 toilets by taking into consideration the rush on each Ghat. These toilets shall be constructed within a period of six months from today. It is also made clear that all the toilets shall be connected to the main sewerage line and no sewerage shall be permitted to be discharged directly into river Ganges.
D. We direct the Irrigation Department, Haridwar to provide sufficient land for construction of the toilets. The senior most Officer of the respondent no.4/Corporation shall hold meeting with the Superintending Engineers of Irrigation Department, U.P. and Irrigation Department, Uttarakhand within 48 hours from now. The land shall also be transferred within a further period of 15 days to the Municipal Corporation, Haridwar.
E.Respondent no.4 is further directed to maintain cleanliness, at Ghats by cleaning them every three hours round the Clock. The Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Haridwar shall be personally liable to implement this order with the assistance of the Police.
F.Uttarakhand Jal Sansthan through its Executive Engineer (Sewerage Unit) is directed to render all assistance to respondent no.4 to ensure that sewerage pipes are not opened directly into river Ganges.
G. Respondent no. 4 and Executive Engineer (Sewerage Unit), Irrigation Department are directed to ensure that no garbage accumulates at “Rodibelwala” area.
H.The Superintending Engineer, who is present in person before this Court, fairly submits that the remaining 26 per cent work of installation of pumping station and treatment plant shall be completed by 31st December, 2018. It is made clear that thereafter not a drop of untreated water from “Kassaban” Naala shall be released directly into river Ganges. The pumping stations and treatment plants shall be made fully functional, as undertaken, on or before 31.12.2018. There shall be a direction to the Peyjal Nigam through Superintending Engineer, who is present in the Court to upgrade all the pumping stations working in the territorial jurisdiction of Municipal Corporation, Haridwar on or before 28.02.2019.
I.The Chief Secretary, State of Uttarakhand is directed to make available sufficient funds for executing the directions issued hereinabove to respondent no.4 as well as Peyjal Nigam on need based basis.
The bench made it clear that its directions should be implemented without getting affected by the model code of conduct with civic polls scheduled for November 19.Read Judgment: