Ganga, Modi and people’s unwavering faith

If prime minister Narendra Modi had taken a few more steps and walked southwards from Asi ghat, he would have been shocked to see a channel emptying untreated sewage in Ganga

swati

Swati Chandra | March 22, 2017 | New Delhi


#Asi ghat   #Narendra Modi   #Rivers   #Environment   #Water Issues   #Water   #Ganga   #Asi River  
Asi nallah entering river Ganga in Varanasi
Asi nallah entering river Ganga in Varanasi

When the truth was a few steps away from Modi’s gaze

In November 2014, prime minister Narendra Modi made his first visit to his constituency Varanasi and launched a massive cleanliness drive at Asi ghat, which was covered in mud and silt.

When locals saw their MP and country’s prime minister wielding a spade, several organisations, celebrities, youngsters took interest and the ghat was cleaned in less than a month’s time. It was something which the municipal authorities had not able to do for more than a decade. Asi ghat trended on Twitter. Incredible India and Swachh Bharat signboards were put up at the ghat.

However, if Modi had taken a few more steps and walked southwards from Asi ghat, he would have been anguished to see a huge channel emptying untreated sewage in Ganga. This channel was Asi nallah. Asi was once a river which used to meet Ganga at Asi ghat. The sound of the sewage in the drain entering the Ganga can be heard from quite a distance. This filth not only brings to the river municipal sewage, it also pushes into the river four million litres of oily and greasy substance from nearby industries. [Ref: Prof VK Kumra of BHU in a book titled Geography and Environment: Issues and Challenges].

Apart from Asi, a total of 250 MLD of untreated sewage enters the river through different channels. For industries and inefficient municipal corporations in towns on the banks of Ganga, the river is nothing but a dead canal to dump waste.

The Ganga suffers silently.

                                                                                                                            ***

Praying and cooking on Ganga river bank


Some 24 km from Varanasi, lies a small village called Adalhaat. Here, hundreds of men and women assemble on the banks of the Ganga almost every day to worship Hindu Goddess Sheetla. One can spot hundreds of earthen stoves made on the sandy river bank. People bring raw material from homes and cook food on these stoves using water from the river. The people in the Ganga water.

After cooking and having their food, they make sure that nothing enters the Ganga. Because of their proximity with the river, for them, Ganga is a living entity. A Goddess.

                 

                                                                                                                           ***

A living entity

The Uttarakhand high court’s decision to give legal rights to Ganga is a welcome step. The judgement guarantees the river the same legal rights like us. This means the cases of illegal dumping of waste, discharge untreated sewage etc. can now be directly brought to the court on the behalf of Ganga in Uttarakhand.

If all goes well, the landmark judgement will have a positive bearing on the Ganga cleaning initiatives.

Comments

 

Other News

Who is Eknath Shinde, the auto driver who became CM?

Hailing from Satara district of Maharashtra, Eknath Sambhaji Shinde had to leave his education midway to financially support his family. He worked as an auto rickshaw driver, a lorry driver and also said to have worked in a brewery before he came in contact with Anand Dighe, Shiv Sena’s Thane unit pr

Metro 3 car shed to stay at Aarey, say new CM Shinde

Former Maharashtra chief minister Davendra Fadnavis stunned all at a press conference Thursday and named Eknath Shinde, the rebel MLA from Shiv Sena, as the next chief minister. Though Fadnavis said he would stay out of the government, a few hours later the BJP leadership announced he would be the deputy c

Uddhav Thackeray resigns as chief minister of Maharashtra

Minutes after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test on Wednesday night, Uddhav Thackeray in a televised address resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra and also as a member of legislative council (MLC). He later drove down to Raj Bhavan and tendered his resignation to the governor Bhagat Singh Koshi

Gig workforce expected to expand to 2.35 crore by 2029-30

The gig economy has arrived in India, as the Covid-19 pandemic has propelled a flexibility of employment. As many as 77 lakh workers were engaged in the gig economy, constituting 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India. The gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35

How Antyodaya Saral is simplifying everyday life in Haryana

From obtaining an electricity connection to a driver`s licence, ration card, or old-age allowance, delivery of government schemes and services is an aspect of governance that impacts citizens at various points throughout their lives. The Haryana state government provides over 600 such schemes and services.

A blueprint of India’s economic future: From a former RBI governor

From Dependence to Self-Reliance: Mapping India’s Rise as a Global Superpower By Bimal Jalan Rupa Publications, 184 pages, Rs 695 Bimal Jalan, a former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has been one of our finest commentators on econom

Visionary Talk: Sanjay Pandey, Mumbai Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter