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Is There Any Hope Left For The River Ganga ?

On March 20, 2017, the Uttarakhand High Court declared Ganga as  the “first living entity of India"

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River Ganga is one of the holiest, yet the most polluted river.
River Ganga is one of the holiest, yet the most polluted river.
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By Ruchika Verma

  • River Ganga is one of the holiest river in India
  • Despite its holy status and dependence of people on it, the river is constantly one of the most polluted
  • Several efforts are being made in order to reduce the pollution in Ganga

River Ganga is one of the most famous river, whose holiness is not only known in India but all over the world. However, the holy river Ganga is not only famous for its history or holiness, but rather for the pollution it suffers from.

ghats of Ganga are some of the most polluted sites in India. Wikimedia Commons
ghats of Ganga are some of the most polluted sites in India. Wikimedia Commons

Ganga is one of the most polluted rivers i the world. Subject to rituals, daily chores and incompetent cleaning plans, the Ganga is hardly the holy river it used to be. Several attempts have been made to clean the holy river but none of them has had any major  success till now.

Efforts for Cleaning the Ganga 

In past few years, governments and local organisations have made  invests of billions of rupees to plan and run various campaigns and programs directed at the clean-up and restoration of the Ganga. However, despite all the efforts, the mistreatment the river Ganga and its pollution are not seeing any reduction.

River Ganga is not only a spiritual and cultural hub for Indians and pilgrims, it is also the lifeline of the approximated 43% of Indians. Many household depends solely on Ganga for their day-to-day chores.

The Holy River Ganga is spiritual hub for many pilgrims. Pixabay
The Holy River Ganga is spiritual hub for many pilgrims. Pixabay

Keeping this in mind, cleaning Ganga should be one of the prime concerns of government, however, despite several efforts, there is no change in the pollution level of the River Ganga.

River Ganga – A Living Entity

On March 20, 2017, the Uttarakhand High Court declared Ganga as  the “first living entity of India” giving the holy river rights similar to that of a living person.

The main motive behind this step was the preservation of the river. This makes any crime committed against the river Ganga, like dumping of waste, eligible to be tried in court as the acts will constitute as harm against a person.

Several plans have been made to clean the river Ganga. Wikimedia Commons
Several plans have been made to clean the river Ganga. Wikimedia Commons

National River Ganga (Rejuvenation Protection and Maintenance) Bill Act 2017, was also passed to ensure the cleanliness and rejuvenation of the river Ganga. The proposed Ganga Act of 2017 makes Ganga, first river in the country to be protected by an Act of Parliament.

The Act could help in protecting the river in many ways. It is not only for the protection of the holy river but also for the people who use its water. There are several plans being enforced to protect the river, many technical and natural ways are being adopted to protect river Ganga. It also serves as a guide to protect other rivers in the future.

Ganga has been declared as 'a living entity' by the uttarakhand high Court. Wikimedia Commons
Ganga has been declared as ‘a living entity’ by the uttarakhand high Court. Wikimedia Commons

With several efforts being made to save the river Ganga, maybe there is still a hope for this holy river.

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Uma Bharti vow to clean up Ganga

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Yogi Adityanath, Wikimedia

Lucknow, April 8, 2017: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday met Union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Conservation Minister Uma Bharti and assured her of all support and cooperation from the state government in cleaning up the Ganga.

“The largest stretch of the river passes through Uttar Pradesh and hence it is even more the responsibility of the state to keep the river clean,” he said, while underlining that for success of the ‘Namami Gange’ project, it is necessary that its tributaries are also cleaned up.

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The entire machinery of the state will now have to work on a war footing for this purpose, Adityanath said, stressing on the need of holding meetings of heads of the development blocks, members of the local Panchayats and village heads of districts on the banks of the river so that the cleaning up of the Ganga is take up in a mission mode.

Uma Bharti said that in absence of support and cooperation in the past regimes in Uttar Pradesh, the ‘Namami Gange’ project was not achieving the desired results but now that the present government is headed by a dedicated saint like him, she was sure that the Ganga cleaning would be a success.

Union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Conservation Secretary Amarjeet Singh said at the meeting that under the ‘Namami Gange’ project, 19 projects worth Rs 2,900 crore were being run in Allahabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Gadhmukteshwar, Kannauj, Bulandshahr and Vrindavan through which capacity to purify 391 MLD of water would be created.

Of the 19 projects, four projects in Allahabad have been completed while work is underway on the rest. Other than this, works worth Rs 4,348 crore are proposed in the state, he said. while suggesting that the proposed works be completed on priority basis.

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Following this, the Chief Minister directed officials to ensure completion of these projects within the fixed timelines by strengthening the infrastructure and arranging for necessary facilities. He also said that the District Magistrates concerned should also be involved so that there are no hurdles in the works.

Singh also said that because of the leather industrial units in Kanpur, Unnao and Banthra, there was a lot of pollution and added that they should be treated as a cluster and pollution controlled at these places.

At this, the Chief Minister said that a decision has already been taken by the state government to shift out leather industry units out of Kanpur and Kannauj in a phased manner, which will contribute in a big way towards the success of the mission.  (IANS)