The Bombay High Court has formed a committee headed by a divisional commissioner to monitor works of authorities concerned who are responsible to check pollution of Godavari River in the pilgrim town of Nashik, which is to host Kumbh festival in July-September next year.

The order was passed by Justices A.S. Oka and S.C. Gupte on a petition filed by Nashik residents praying for cleaning of Godavari, the second largest river in India after the Ganga, which is the main source of drinking water for Nashik and also used for disposing of industrial and domestic waste.

The high court-appointed panel would also comprise the commissioner of Nashik municipal corporation (NMC), Nashik district collector, representative of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, an expert in the field appointed by the divisional commissioner, and a representative of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute.

The court also ruled in an oral order on Friday that the divisional commissioner shall appoint any Revenue Officer in his office not below the rank of deputy collector, to act as the secretary of the committee.

The judges also ordered the divisional commissioner shall complete the constitution of the panel within three weeks from March 7. He shall be entitled to appoint sub-committees for assisting the committee, the court said.

The court also directed the NMC to provide the committee with necessary infrastructure such as staff, vehicles to carry out inspection of sites, stationary and computers etc.

The Judges also asked the state government to create a separate cell consisting of adequate number of police officers for maintaining law and order, for assisting civic authorities and the court-appointed committee, for implementation of orders.

The Nashik Police Commissioner, will appoint an officer not below the rank of a DCP, who shall be the incharge of the cell of the police force deployed for the protection of Godavari River, the court said.