Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has asked Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) to urgently check pollution in Godavari river which originates at Trimbakeshwar, near Nashik, a major pilgrim centre.
Perusing the affidavit filed by NMC on February 24, a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka observed that it was general in nature and that they were not satisfied with the steps taken to check pollution.
The judges asked the NMC to file further affidavit within three weeks on concrete steps it proposed to take to clean Godavari river and prevent pollution.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Rajesh Pandit, a social worker, who contended that garbage and untreated effluents are released into the river thereby causing pollution.
Besides, many pilgrims visit Nashik and Trimbakeshwar which houses one of the 12 'Jyotirlingas' (temples) of Lord Shiva.
People even visit Nashik to perform the last rites of their ancestors and in the process they drop 'pooja' articles such as flowers etc. in Godavari river thereby causing pollution, the PIL alleged.
The civic body should stop devotees from immersing pooja articles in the river by deploying guards on the banks at Nashik and Trimbakeshwar, the PIL said.
Instead, the PIL suggested, special pots should be put up on the banks of the river and devotees should be persuaded to deposit pooja articles in these pots.
The PIL suggested that the NMC should put up boards on the banks of the river, displaying warnings that the water is not suitable for drinking and the river would get polluted if articles are dumped into it, thereby preventing devotees from indulging in this practice.
Posting the matter for hearing after three weeks, the court asked the MPCB and NMC to monitor pollution level in Godavari and take urgent steps to check it.