The Ganges river has been recognised as India’s first living entity, in a ruling by the Uttarakhand High Court. The landmark decision was reported in English daily Indian Express on Monday. The Ganga is one of India’s largest rivers and is considered sacred in the Hindu mythology.

The High Court had reportedly given the state government a slap on its wrist for not doing enough to clean up the river earlier this month. According to a news report, the court noted authorities efforts to revive an ancient mythological river Saraswati, further observing that an existent river like the Ganges wasn’t getting the attention it deserved while the government wasted its time in bringing to life a lost river.

“The Ganga should be saved for the generations to come,” the court reportedly said.

(Source: Indian Express/Twitter)

Since 1985, there has been a massive government-backed campaign to clean up the Ganga, which was found to be among the worst five polluted rivers in the world. However, the clean-up effort, known as the Ganga Action Plan, has largely failed to clean up the mucky waters of the river, which is the lifeblood of northern India due to being one of few perennial rivers flowing through the region.

The 2,525-km long river originates in the Himalaya mountains and ends in the Bay of Bengal, after flowing through some of the most fertile and densely populated areas of the world in India and then in Bangladesh. It is recognised as the third largest river in the world in terms of discharge.