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

Gripping graphic narrative helps make sense of pandemics past

The Moral Contagion By Julia Hauser and Sarnath Banerjee HarperCollins, 140 pages, Rs 699 The world has lar

“Globally, there is unprecedented positivity for India”

Addressing the Viksit Bharat Viksit Uttar Pradesh program in Lucknow on Monday, prime minister Narendra Modi launched 14,000 projects across the state, worth more than Rs 10 lakh crore at the fourth groundbreaking ceremony of UP Global Investors Summit held in February 2023. The projects relate to sectors

World’s biggest bird-a-thon begins in India

During the four days from Feb 16, more than a thousand birdwatchers throughout India are coming together with the goal of documenting as many birds as possible across the country’s diverse locations. Over one lakh birdwatchers globally participate in the annual Great Backyard Bird Coun

Comments sought on Draft Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advt in Coaching Sector

The Central Consumer Protection Authority has sought public comments on the ‘Draft Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisement in Coaching Sector’. The draft guidelines are placed on the website of the Department of Consumer Affairs and are accessible through the link:

Electoral bond scheme unconstitutional: Supreme Court

In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of India has held the anonymous, unregulated and unlimited funding through electoral bonds and companies as unconstitutional. The five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court comprising chief justice DY Chandrachud and justices Sanjiv Khanna, B

Interim Budget and frontier technology: Sab ka Vikas, Sab ki Technology

The world is at the cusp of a revolution based on Industry 4.0 and green technologies, including AI, big data, IoT, EVs, solar power, etc., which offer developing countries the opportunity to leapfrog into economic prosperity. However, India’s gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) still stands at a mea

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter