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30th Sep, 2021: In a significant Order concerning river pollution, the Hon’ble Gujarat High Court issued a series of directions in Suo Moto WP. (PIL) No. 98/2021, dealing with many aspects regarding the release of polluted Sewage and Industrial effluent into the Sabarmati River at Ahmedabad. The Order was passed by the Bench of Hon’ble Mr. Justice J. B. Pardiwala and Hon’ble Ms. Justice Vaibhavi D. Nanavati on 23rd Sep, 2021.

During the previous hearing on 14th Sep, the Hon’ble bench formed a Joint Task Force, which submitted its inspection report to the Court on 23rd Sep, when the matter was taken up for hearing. Based on the pleadings and the report of the JTF, the Hon’ble Court passed a valuable order, with far reaching implications. Copy of the order is attached. Some key extracts and directions are below.

1.    This litigation in public interest is a very important one. It should be a people’s movement. Each and every district in the river’s catchment area and every citizen should be involved in this movement. A decentralized approach involving every citizen is needed to save Gujarat’s rivers from pollution. We are saying so keeping in mind the ‘Public Trust’ doctrine. The State holds some resources in trust for public use – against the municipal councils and industries to stop them from soiling the water bodies. It is very sad to note that rivers are one common pool resource to pollute. In our Constitution, water resources are held in public trust. We have to use the ‘Public Trust Doctrine’ to apply stringent provisions against permitting municipal bodies or industries from polluting rivers. Rivers are our lifeline since we are completely dependent on them for our existence. The major reason behind this alarming situation is our utter ignorance and carefree attitude towards our environment and maintaining rivers and riversides. So, it is high time that we take some stringent actions in this regard. Each and every individual should understand that rivers belong to all of us. It is a joint responsibility of each and every individual to keep them clean.

2.    We direct the State Government and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to provide adequate manpower to the Gujarat Pollution Control Board to facilitate the Board to undertake the necessary operations in accordance with the directions issued by this Court.

3.    The Joint Task Force is at liberty to take assistance of experts/entities who would aid in the revival and rejuvenation of the Sabarmati river.

4.    In the event if anyone of the members of the Joint Task Force wants to carry out the inspection, then he/she shall be at liberty to do so. Prior intimation thereof shall be made to the Gujarat Pollution Control Board.

5.    The Joint Task Force team shall undertake site visits preferably during the first or second week of October 2021, once the rain subsides, for carrying out the inspection and collection of samples for identification of characterization. The report shall be submitted to this Court through the learned Amicus Curiae.

6.    The Miroli Piyat Sahakari Mandli Ltd. may, within two weeks, devise a suitable plan to provide water for the irrigation purpose and approach the Joint Task Force with the same. The Joint Task Force, in consultation with the Chief Secretary of the State Government, shall devise an action plan to ensure that the farmers are provided with sufficient water for the irrigation purpose.

For further details, please contact Krishnakant of Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti at 9426608075 or email

NAPM India