The Bombay High Court asked the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to study the pollution of river Godavari caused by the ‘Shahi Snaan’ (royal bath) events during the Kumbh Mela which began at Nashik on July 24 this year.
The division bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka asked the NEERI to form a committee for this purpose and submit a report before December 11.
The High Court also directed the authorities not to release the water from Godavari any further as it might have been polluted after the Shahi Snaan.
Maharashtra government and the Nashik Municipal Corporation shall take immediate measures to clean the water of Godavari, said the High Court which was hearing a petition filed by Pune resident H M Desarda.
The PIL alleges pollution of river water during the Shahi Snaan days (when it is considered auspicious to bathe in the river). It also challenges the government’s decision to release one TMC water from upstream reservoirs for every Shahi Snaan.
The court had earlier restrained the government from releasing water for the last Shahi Snaan and criticised the release of water on September 13.
“The government has a policy which categorises its priority list….Supply of water for drinking purposes comes first and supply of water for such Shahi Snaan purposes comes in the last category,” the court had said.