Protection of rivers from pollution

Urban spaces such as townships are being established closer to river origins, and the effects of urban systems on rivers are detrimental. Discharge of sewage into these rivers makes the water non-potable for 30 km downstream. Additionally, construction on flood plains and walling in of river banks restrict access to rivers for all life forms including humans. River floodplains are also susceptible to flooding when appropriated for human purposes. It threatens the carrying capacity of the river and also disturbs groundwater percolation and recharge.

Vanashakti has moved the High Court to enforce the Doctrine of Public Trust for rivers, by which the State as the custodian of natural resources has to keep it from pollution and should allow unrestricted access to all citizens and animals. After repeated complaints to the Environment Dept.

Vanashakti moved Bombay HC to enforce the Doctrine of Public Trust. The HC sought status of draft RRZ notification and details of what the State Govt. plans to do for protection of rivers and floodplains in Maharashtra in view of scrapping of Industrial location Regulation Policy near Rivers. The Central Govt. has filed a reply in the matter in September 2018 that merits a response/discussion.