Expressing displeasure over the steps taken to clean the river Ganga, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday asked the Uttarakhand government to take “effective measures” and take into account the views of the general public.

A bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel, said that the information provided “on paper” was different from the “ground reality.”

“The situation is extraordinarily bad and we cannot accept that anything has been done. It is the most prestigious river in the country which 100 crore people respect but we are unable to protect it. Let us try to make the mechanism as strong and effective as possible,” the bench said during the hearing.

Taking note of the compliance report submitted by the State government, the green panel said, “Though the compliance affidavit may claim that all steps have been taken, the object of the directions in letter and spirit and the effect on the ground is not adequate.” Noting that “rigorous monitoring” is required, the NGT sought district fortnightly reports from Ganga committees.

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