New Delhi, September 3 (G’nY News Service): Narendra Modi, standing on the banks of Ganga in holy city of Varanasi, promised to the world a rapid transition towards restoration of pristine heath of the present dismal river. However, 15 months of the NDA government, plans are yet to be underway and promises nullified, by the fact that none of the schemes and plans for the cleaning of the Ganga have been placed before the Cabinet for its approval.
One of the biggest rivers in the world, the Ganga drains through nine states of India. The 2,525 km long river supports 66 districts on the banks of the main stem of river, 118 towns, and over 1650 gram panchayats. Nearly all the sewage, industrial effluents, agricultural runoff from chemical fertilizers, pesticides and solid waste finds its way into the river.
The first attempt to clean the Ganga named Ganga Action Plan was started in June 14, 1986 in Varanasi by Rajiv Gandhi. Eventually, GAP I was integrated into GAP II, launched in 1993, which has been in place until it was replaced by NamamiGange in 2014. Thousands of crores of taxpayers’ money has been spent, the water quality of the Ganga has not improved as per reports of various studies by governmental and extra-governmental bodies.
According to Vinod Thare, head of the IIT Consortium (IITC) responsible for preparing the master plan for Ganga rejuvenation, cleaning the Ganga may be an uphill task but it’s not impossible. ““All the sources, be it domestic, agricultural or industrial affluent, are point sources which are highly controllable. All it requires is a coordinated effort from all the agencies involved along with a paradigm shift in the laws and the institutional framework.” he adds.
Read the complete article in G’nY’s forth coming issue “Water Matters” Volume 15, Issue 91 2015 to be out soon.