Terming as "illegal" the Maharashtra government's decision of releasing two TMC (thousand million cubic) dam water for 'shahi snans' at Kumbh Mela in Nashik, the Bombay High Court today asked the government to rethink its decision before the next 'shahi snan' on September 18.
A division bench of justices A S Oka and V L Achliya was hearing a petition filed by H M Desarda, a professor from Pune, seeking quashing of the state government's decision to release one TMC water for every shahi snan (royal bath).
Desarda today informed the court that for the shahi snan on September 13 the government released two TMC water from the Gangapur dam.
"The government has a policy which categorises its priority list as regards supply of water. As per the policy supply of water for drinking purposes comes first and supply of water for such shahi snan purposes comes in the last and fourth category. When the state is reeling under drought what you (government) done is illegal," the court said.
The court directed the government to rethink its decision before the last shahi snan scheduled on September 18. The court admitted the petition and posted it for hearing on September 21.
The Kumbh Mela started on July 14 and the next shahi snan is on September 18. The government has allowed 1TMC for each snan.