Allahabad: Be it the ‘Sangam’ in Allahabad, Dashaswamedh Ghat of Varanasi or the banks of river Gomti in Lucknow, garbage and polythene waste littered at these places of worship defines the scene, and the devotees are forced to go through it if they wish to have a dip in the holy waters.

Since numerous efforts by social activists, volunteers, saints to clean the banks of Ganga and other rivers have failed to fructify, an initiative has been taken through a petition in High Court to make the rivers clean.

The petitioner, Arun Kumar Gupta, has drawn the attention of the court on cleaning of river banks, and polluted status of these rivers. He submitted before the court that the banks where devotees take a holy dip must be kept clean and the municipal organization must take care of it.

Mayor Chaudhary Jitendra Nath Singh has argued that this does not come under the purview of the Municipal Corporation because it lacks resources to take care of all the ghats.

However, the Municipal Corporation Act, 1959 clearly states under Section 350 that the Municipal Corporation can plan a policy for two kilometres beyond the city area. There is also a provision of framing a scheme under Section 351 by which the Municipality can make any policy for the improvement of the city. Also, under Section 353, the Mukhya Nagar Adhikari (MNA) can ensure cleanliness in the city and implement measures for improvement under Section 354.

Moreover, under Section 389, the MNA has a right to make special arrangements for a big gathering at any temple, monastery, mosque, or any holy place of worship. He can assign the responsibility to someone and charge for it.