The Uttarakhand High Court recognized River Ganga as the first living entity. The High Court made the landmark ruling on Monday.
According to reports, the High Court had previously reprimanded the Uttarakhand government for failing to do enough to clean up the river.
As a living entity, River Ganga may have all the rights accorded to a human. Reports also say that River Yamuna, too, has been accorded the living entity status.
This means that polluting Ganga, which runs for 2,525 kms from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, might now be seen as human rights violation.
Despite its status in India, River Ganga remains one of the world’s most polluted rivers. A government-backed Clean Ganga Mission has been trying to achieve its desired goal for a long time but pollution in the river shows no sign of reduction.
What is interesting to note here is that just a few days ago, the New Zealand government passed a legislation recognizing the River Whanganui as a legal person.
The demand to identify the river as a living being was first raised in 1870s by the Maori tribes, making it the longest-running legal dispute in the country.