Water is indispensable to life. Human beings can survive for 3 weeks without food, but only three days without water. Moreover, there may be no food cultivation without water. Conceptually, therefore, the right to life, considered the foremost basic and fundamental of all rights, must include within it a right to water. The right to water evolved from initial references to water in numerous international treaties, including the Convention on the Elimination of All types of Discrimination against Women, 1979, the Convention on the Rights of the kid, 1990, and therefore the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2008. Ultimately, in 2010, the international organization (“U.N.”) General Assembly adopted resolutions on the “Human Right to Water and Sanitation” and on the “Human Rights and Access to Safe beverage and Sanitation” emphasizing recognition of the “right to water”. We now have a separate right to water. In 2002, the U.N. Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (“E.S.C.R”.) adopted General Comment 15 noting that “The right to water is indispensable for leading a life with human dignity”. The Committee also defined the core content of the “right to water” to incorporate “everyone’s right to sufficient, safe, acceptable and physically accessible and affordable water for private and domestic uses”.
Historically, Dalits have sought integration and respect within mainstream Hindu caste society which has been denied to them for hundreds of years, in accordance with the dominant development paradigm. On the opposite hand, Adivasis have sought development on their terms outside mainstream Indian society. As a result, Dalit articulation of the “right to water” seeks not only to secure state provisioning of water within the traditional vertical exercise of their rights against the state but also to make sure enforcement of access to it water provision through the horizontal application of the correct in legal code against upper castes that block such access. For Adivasis, however, articulation of the “right to water” is inextricably linked to their rights to land and forest, seen as a part of one indivisible ecosystem.
Apart from the judicial articulation of a generally applicable “right to water”, I also describe the articulation of this right on behalf of two marginalized groups. the primary group includes Dalits or Scheduled Castes that constitute 16% of India’s population, who have historically faced systematic discrimination within mainstream Hindu society supported their caste. Originating in ancient India, and transformed by medieval elites, and later by British colonial rule, the class structure in India was a system of conditions that consigned people in several castes to different hereditary occupations, positions, and ways of life. Dalits or untouchables were placed outside the societal hierarchy and were denied access to common sources like food and water. The other group includes Adivasis or indigenous peoples which includes 8.6% of India’s population, who are historically marginalized because they need to live largely in geographical isolation in hills and forests with distinct cultures outside the society.
The right to life is continuously expanded, which has the proper to possess a clean environment and also the right to health, and after your time court mentioned that it also includes the correct to water. after we analyze various judgments of the Indian court, we will find that they need not only considered the correct to urge water as a fundamental right, but the court has also mentioned that water should be social asset.
Right to water was added to the extended interpretation of the proper to life under article 21 of the Indian constitution within the judgment of the case of Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) v. Union of India & Ors. W.P. (Civil) No. 196 / 2001. This judgment created a precedent that seeped all the way down to rock bottom levels of court.
The country of India hosts a large population that further creates a large demand for basic life necessities like water. However, this demand goes with major disappointment for people because of the severe scarcity of water. consistent with the 2017 UNICEF report, India’s two-thirds districts among the 718 districts, were reported to be under-supplied with water, with groundwater becoming scarcer a day
WATER (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT, 1974
Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 is the primary enacted by the parliament in relevance to the protection and preservation of the environment. The water act came into force to make sure the restoration of the water, where the domestic and industrial effluents pollute water with no precautionary measures. The Constitution of the Central Pollution Board and State Pollution control panel is empowered under the act to perform various functions like establishing the standard, research, and investigation of the bodies creating pollution to the water bodies. The awareness about promoting the cleanliness of water streams, well and rivers is also raised by this Act. And also, one every of the most purpose of building this act was to stop and control the pollution of water.
One of the provisions of this act provides that nobody can establish any industry which discharges sewages or trades effluents into the water bodies without the permission of the state board. But within the case of Province Pollution board II v. Prof. M. V. Nayudu it had been held by Supreme Court that Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 doesn’t provide an exemption to the state for exempting the establishment of personal body or polluting industries creating pollution to the water bodies.
PROVISIONS OF ENVIRONMENT (PROTECTION) ACT, 1986
Environment Protection Act has got force on19th of November 1986. The name environment protect act itself provides the most objective of the act as protection of the environment. This act provides power to the Central Government to require appropriate measures so as to shield and improve the environment.
INDIAN EASEMENT ACT, 1882
The Indian Easement Act came into force on the 1st day of July 1882. Under this Act, the word Easement is defined in Section 4. But normally term easement means “right to enjoyment”. The rights of Riparian owners are recognized under this Act. A riparian owner is the one who has his land nearby the river or a stream.
Even after various legislations are passed the river water in India are continuously polluted River Ganga despite being worshiped by almost a billion people of this country is included among the foremost polluted river of the identical, variant liters of chemical waste is disposed of in these waters by the industries including the pollutants like cyanide, zinc, copper, lead, cadmium, and mercury including sewage waters also which is that the biggest pollutant These pollutants are so poisonous that they not only kill fishes instantly but other animals also. When these poisonous pollutants are disposed of in water it reduces the standard of water and makes them useless for drinking.
In the case of M C Mehta vs. State of Orrisa and Ors, a writ petition was filed for shielding the health of thousands of individuals living within town Cuttack and therefore the other areas which were adjacent thereto, which were plagued by the pollution caused by disposition discharged into the river by a municipal committee of Cuttack and SCB Medical Collage Hospital, also the State Pollution Board in its report concluded that the water within the city wasn’t fit human consumption and even bathing, The Apex court ordered to require immediate steps to manage the present situation and a responsible municipal corporation was formulated by the court for effective management of pollutants within the city’s beverage.
The government also because the Boards established under the legislation should attend to those matters not just by providing fines to the individuals polluting water but through imprisonment.
The case of Vikash Bansal vs Delhi pollution control committee marks an exceptional judgment given by the supreme court because, during this case of Haryana Paneer Bhandar, an offender was imprisoned for a period of 1 year with 1 Lakh Rupees fine together with 2.5 lakhs Rupees to tend to the PM relief fund, but what must be noticed during this judgment is that this case isn’t associated with any criminal offense like rape, murder, robbery or assault whereas it had been a case associated with the environment that’s polluting the river of Yamuna.
These types of convictions are seen as very rare and in line with me, the court must make such convictions more frequently so as to safeguard the environment from degrading further.
PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION
Not only a private can approach through the provisions of the legislations associated with the Environment but also through filing a Public Interest Litigation Now, pollution of water is worried to a bigger public, and any dispute associated with water may be settled through filing a Public Interest Litigation. Public Interest Litigation is filed through Article 32 of the Constitution of India which provides about the proper Constitutional Remedies and thru Article 226 of the Constitution of India which provides about the ability of the court to issue certain writ Public Interest Litigation may be filed through Section 122 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which provides about common nuisance. Public Interest Litigation will be converted into writ and the other way around.
Right to induce clean water isn’t an enumerated right under the Constitution of India. This right was brought to light through various judicial pronouncements and has become an integral part of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. And also, in the case of Sachidanand Pandey v. State of West Bengal, the Supreme Court held that the court is guaranteed to bear in mind Article 21 which offers about Right to life and private liberty, and Article 48A which provides the basic duties and Article 51A. (g) which provides about the Directive Principles of State Policy whenever a case associated with environmental problem is brought before such court.
CENTRAL WATER COMMISSION
Central Water Commission was established to perform various functions including the initiation, coordination, and consultation of the authorities within the matter associated with the preservation, control, utilization, and distribution of water resources to the citizens of India. The central water commission is now part of the state of India. It makes sure the utilization of water resources appropriately so as to regulate floods, and droughts, maintain irrigation, and provide potable, etc.
In recent time, thanks to Covid-19, there has been large control on the pollution not only to the water bodies but also control of pollution, noise, pollution, etc. the govt. must take this as a chance to stop any more pollution of the water bodies by bringing various other legislation or simply by improving the provisions of the present legislation. The provisions of current legislation shall be made stricter which creates fear within the minds of individuals from further polluting the environment.
Water isn’t a personal asset and is the main essential ingredient for the survival of the people. It’s important to regulate pollution caused to the river water, streams, wells, etc. because India includes a total of only 4% of the world’s H2O, uses 80% of that merely for farming, and using polluted water for farming will adversely affect the health of people. The second most populated country within the world is additionally home to thousands of ethnic and tribal groups which survive on the character or jungle for his or her food and water including the little streams of water from major rivers, the presence of chemical pollutants are incredibly harmful moreover as deadly in some cases. And also, the right to induce clean water isn’t an enumerated right but could be a right enforced under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
Hence Right to induce a clean beverages is additionally considered a a fundamental right and no one can deprive of such a right. If this right is empty a person, the one that has been aggrieved of those rights contains a right to approach under different provisions provided under the varied legislations. Different reasonable protection must even be given to major rivers and their connecting tanneries because these pollutants are directly affecting the habitat prospering around these rivers.
This article is written by Ashutosh Banshwar, a student of School of Law, Sharda University.