Ganga needs water not scores of clean up plans

The centre has claimed to clean-up Ganga by 2018 but the major issue of reduced flow in the river is not being discussed

swati

Swati Chandra | January 15, 2015 | New Delhi




Spiritually she is limitless and most holy. But in physical form the river Ganga is just a sewage canal, filthy and unhealthy even for a dip.

Almost three decades and clean up plans of thousands of crores, the mighty Ganga remains lifeless and bears the burden of the lifeless bodies.

In his maiden financial budget, finance minister Arun Jaitley announced another Rs 2037 crore for cleaning up and rejuvenation of the river. The first plan for cleaning the river was unveiled in 1986. The central government has claimed to clean-up the Ganga by 2018.

Ganga needs water not just funds

According to Prof BD Tripathi, river scientist in Banaras Hindu University (BHU), the major problem faced by the river is lack of flow. “The river needs water. Year-after-year it is shrinking into a pond. Due to dams and channels built over the river mostly in Uttarakhand, there is a negligible flow in the river in the plains and that is the area where the river gets polluted,” said Tripathi, a member of national Ganga river basin authority (NGRBA), while talking to Governance Now.



According to him, the river has its own purification science but it cannot be achieved with reduced flow in the river. “The major issue is its undisrupted flow which is yet to be discussed. All the claims and planning are on the paper at present. We cannot see any ground level work as of now,” he said talking about government’s rejuvenation plan, which was a major poll issue during 2014 general elections.

According to a study conducted by Ganga Lab and River Ecosystem Environment Management and Training Centre in BHU, due to dams and channels, less than 1 per cent of the original Ganga water reaches in the holy city of Varanasi where lakhs of pilgrims take bath in the river every day.

According to South Asia Network of Dams, Rivers and People, there are 26 existing hydroelectric power projects on Alaknanda, Bhagirathi and Ganga river basin (confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi) which generate 2480.05 MW of power. Apart from these dams there are 41dams under construction while 96 dams have been on drawing boards.

The 2500 km Ganga basin nourishes 450 million people in five states and its waters are exploited for various domestic, industrial and religious requirements.

Death of a river

 A grave problem faced by the river and people depending on it is of floating bodies. Early this week, over 50 bodies were found floating on the river in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.




According to a boatman in Varanasi, Vinod Manjhi, out of hundreds of bodies brought to the city for performing cremation on daily basis, 50 to 60 bodies are not cremated on funeral pyre but immersed in the river.

“This happens when a person dies with skin disease, snake bite or during pregnancy. There is no proper mechanism for such cremation and the body is immersed as it is in the river”, he says.

Besides, there are excess like municipal sewage and industrial effluents. The issue of industrial pollution into the river has already been handed over to the Green Tribunal and it has been asked to submit its report every six months.

Comments

 

Other News

Sowing wheat earlier can help increase yields in India: US researcher

Yield gaps in wheat production in India can be countered with an earlier sowing date, says a University of Michigan researcher.   Using a new way to measure wheat yields, Meha Jain, assistant professor at the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability, found that the wheat yie

Giving birth as a Baiga

Kharpariya village, about 50 km from the headquarters town of Madhya Pradesh’s Mandla district, is like many villages in the region, home to the Baiga, deemed a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) for whom permanent contraception methods are banned to prevent extinction. However, care for p

Being the prime minister’s brother

Somabhai Modi says he remembers only one occasion when he offered his younger brother prime minister Narendra Modi advice regarding work. This, he says, was when Modi was chief minister of Gujarat. After one of his weekly grievance redressal sessions, the then chief minister had enquired after the well-b

Should ration cards not linked to Aadhaar be rendered ineligible?

Should ration cards not linked to Aadhaar be rendered ineligible?

INS Kiltan commissioned into Indian Navy

 INS Kiltan, the third anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvette built under project 28 (Kamorta class), was commissioned into the Indian Navy by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam.    The anti-submarine warfare stealth corvet

SAIL`s special grade steel used to build stealth corvette

Maharatna enterprise, Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) has supplied defence grade micro-alloyed grade of steel (DMR 249A) steel plates for the indigenously built anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvette INS-Kiltan commissioned into Indian Navy.    SAIL’s integ



Video

Dhanteras today, know subh muhurat for shopping and puja

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter