A resolution passed by the Madhya Pradesh Assembly seeks to provide legal protection to Narmada to ensure ‘conservation of aquatic bio-diversity’.
Bhopal: A month after the Uttarakhand high court declared Ganga and Yamuna and their tributaries as “living entities having the status of a legal person”, the Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution according the Narmada river a similar recognition.
A special session of the state Assembly, passed the resolution granting the 1312-km-long Narmada all legal rights of a person or a living entity to ensure “conservation of aquatic bio-diversity linked with the purity and incessant flow of the river”.
“The move will go a long way to help conservation of Narmada, the lifeline of the state,” chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told reporters here.
“The resolution seeks to provide legal protection to Narmada,” he added.
Earlier on Tuesday, the state Cabinet had approved a proposal to declare Narmada a living entity. Last week, Union minister Rajnath Singh had suggested that the Madhya Pradesh government should bring a bill in the state Assembly in order to give a living entity status to river Narmada. Responding to the suggestion, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had assured that his government would introduce a bill to that effect immediately.
Ruling out any political motives behind the government’s decision, Mr Chouhan said, “Eminent leaders from all walks of life, like Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and conservationist Rajendra Singh, have participated in the campaign. This amply demonstrates that the campaign has nothing to do with politics.”
“We will soon initiate the process of enacting law declaring the state government the custodian of the river. It is a cumbersome process since there are so many implications and complications associated with declaring a river a living entity. Hence, we are not in a hurry to enact a law in a hurry,” an official spokesman told this newspaper here.
Earlier in its judgment in March, Uttarakhand high court declared Ganga and Yamuna as living entities.