Varanasi citizens file FIRs against polluting Ganga

Lucknow, May 10 (IANS) In a first, citizens of Varanasi Friday lodged police complaints against “unknown” people for polluting the Ganga.

The first information reports (FIRs) were lodged at the Lanka police station by Varanasi citizens led by Vashishtha Narayan, Ram Shri and Prakash Upadhyaya.

Circle Officer (CO) of Bhelupur, D.P. Shukla told IANS that the reports were lodged under sections 277/279 of the Environment Conservation Act, 1986. against “unknown people”.

“Three different FIRs have been lodged at different times, but on the same issue,” the police official said, adding that they were looking into the matter.

Appropriate penal action would be taken against those found guilty, the police official said.

The citizens have pointed to inlets into the river at different places, through which untreated and toxic effluents are being pumped into the river, causing major pollution. Not only this, the FIRs say, people are also dumping garbage and other waste material into the river.

Activists working on Ganga pollution pointed out that this is the first time that such pro-active action is being initiated by citizens.

“While there have been cases where complaints have been lodged with the policemen by organisations and NGOs, this is the first time that people have taken up cudgels on behalf of the Ganga themselves,” said Vikas Maheshwari, a Ganga conservation activist.

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