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

COVID-19 demobilisation: Lessons for public governance

Demobilization, like its predecessor – demonetization, is another decision gone bad in implementation.  In both instances a careful public administrative action through its governance systems could have saved the magnitude of impact particularly on the most vulnerable sections of the society. Th

Don’t fear Corona, fight it

In a bid to break the “chain of transmission” of the deadly Covid-19, India, a country with more than 1.3 billion population, observed a voluntary ‘Janata Curfew’ on March 22. This has been followed by a 21-day, nationwide lockdown from March 24. Prime minister Narendra Modi also re

Sci-Tech Empowered Committee set up for COVID-19

To take speedy decisions on research and development for Sars-Cov-2 virus and COVID-19, the government has constituted a Science and Technology Empowered Committee. The committee, set up on March 29 and chaired by Niti Aayog member, professor Vinod Paul and professor K Vijay Raghavan, princi

Covid-19 and real estate: This could be last straw that broke camel’s back

Covid-19 may turn out to be the last straw that broke the camel’s back so far as the real estate sector is concerned. It broke out at a time when pundits were estimating the GDP to be hovering around 2.5% with unprecedent levels of unemployment. This itself was a good indicator that the real estate s

India ramps efforts as COVID-19 cases rise

As COVID -19 cases continue to rise amid a 21-day lockdown, the centre and the states are proactively taking measures to provide aid to the underprivileged and the needy during this unprecedented situation.         By Sunday morning, India had registered 27

Diplomacy in the time of Covid-19

In the thick of battle with the deadly coronavirus, India on March announced a 21-day lockdown till April 14 in its bid to control the spread of virus which has so far led to 10 people’s death and over 600 others falling sick across the country. As per experts, India, which is in the second stage of



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter