mid-day editorial: Let's make this city a shrine to cleanliness

Updated: Feb 01, 2018, 08:20 IST | mid-day correspondent

A group of students of a Pune law college has brought Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai under the green scanner by filing an Environment Interest Litigation (EIL), alleging illegal dumping and release of waste in the Arabian Sea

A group of students of a Pune law college has brought Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai under the green scanner by filing an Environment Interest Litigation (EIL), alleging illegal dumping and release of waste in the Arabian Sea.

The young petitioners decided to file the EIL after a recent visit to the dargah where they found the area dirty and unhygienic. They also said that human waste discharged from toilets on the dargah premises goes straight into Arabian Sea. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) took serious cognisance of the matter and issued notices against the Haji Ali Dargah Trust and government agencies, directing them to file a reply before March 5. While replies are awaited, the dargah recently claimed that it had not yet received any notice. We can take heart that youngsters have taken note and shown sensitivity to the environment. There must be seriousness in the replies and an attempt to clean up the surroundings.

We do not want to see this politicised in any way. There should not be any protests about this being a religious site. Let's not bring religion into what is essentially an environmental issue. Going by history, we have seen that the slightest question or points raised about any religious site is met with rapid intervention by persons claiming to be affronted. They will be followed by the so-called protectors of the faith. Rapidly and by design, these persons will get their two minutes of fame, and the real issue will be lost in the morass of communal charges that start flying whenever this happens.

Let us focus on the problem at hand. Do not divert from the real subject. Look through people trying to stoke tensions through outrage. This is an environmental subject; let's view it solely through that prism.

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