Why is the river Ganga important :-
- Nearly 40% of the Indian population depends on Ganga water for daily usage.
- Ganga Delta is one of the best fertile lands. For all the crops here, river Ganga is the main source.
- Ganga water is also used by many industries.
- The river Ganga is a perennial river, that means the river water is available throughout the year.
- Inland waterways on the river Ganga is used to transport goods. Before the introduction of railways in India, these routes were heavily used to transport people and goods.
- Ganga river is providing livelihood to lakhs of people.
- It is a rich source of fishes.
- It is the longest river in India.
- Ganga river is one of the most polluted rivers in the world.
- It originates at Gangotri as Bhagirathi river. at Devprayag, Bhagirathi meets Alaknanda forming Ganga river.
- It flows through India & Bangladesh.
- After travelling 2525 km, Ganga river mixes into sea at Ganga Sagar.
- Hindu people believe that a dip in the Ganga river cures diseases.
- From 1970s dumping waste water into the river has increased dramatically. Till 1970s Ganga river could clean itself because of the flow.
Reasons for pollution of Ganga :-
- Untreated sewage from industries and homes is being dumped in the river.
- Industrial wastage contains poisonous pollutants.
- Open defecation, bathing & washing clothes on the banks of river.
- Dumping corpses into the river.
- Religious offerings such as flowers, ashes etc.
- Flow of river is decreasing because of Dams, pumping stations, encroachments and the garbage that was dumped in the river. With the less flow, Ganga river is not able to carry the wastage into the sea. The garbage is settling on the riverbed.
- Water stress on the river leads to decrease in the water level, and this too decreases the river’s flow.
- Illegal fishing. Fishes help in cleaning the water.
- Motor boats on the river.
- Illegal sand mining. Sand helps riverbed in absorbing water. lack of sand in rivers causes floods in the monsoon time.
Effects of pollution in Ganga :-
- Fruits and vegetables that were grown using Ganga water is containing poisonous chemicals.
- Contagious diseases spread.
- Future of 40% of Indians that depend on the river Ganga will be clueless, if the river is completely polluted.
What was done till now :-
- ‘Ganga Action Plan’ (GAP) was launched in 1986 to stop further pollution of the river and to improve the water quality.
- Under GAP, Sewage treatment plants (STP) was setup.
- ‘National River Ganga Basin Authority’ (NRGBA) is a financing, planning, implementing, monitoring and coordinating authority for the Ganges River was established by Indian Govt. in 2009.
- Ganga was declared as ‘National River’ 2009.
- Indian Government launched Integrated Ganga conservation mission called ‘Namami Gange’ in 2014. This mission aims to arrest the pollution of Ganga River and rejuvenate the river.
- Filth from the river bed is being taken out.
- Encroachments on river banks are being penalized heavily.
What more needs to be done :-
- If there is a need for dam, it must be constructed in a way that it shouldn’t decrease the flow of the river.
- Most of corpses were dumped by those, who have no money to cremate the dead bodies. Electronic crematoriums must be setup near the river banks for free or low charges.
- Spiritual leaders should encourage devotees to offers prayers in eco-friendly way.
- Parks needs to be constructed on river banks to avoid encroachments and to increase tourism.
- Facilities must be arranged near river banks for washing cloths, bathing etc, instead of allowing those activities at the river.
- Heavy fines must be levied on those, who pollute the river.
- Students must be taught about the importance of cleaning Ganga and the reasons for pollution.
- Local people should be involved in the cleaning mission.
- Special task force should be appointed for maintenance of the river.
- Fisheries should be promoted.
- To decrease water stress, rain water harvestation & optimized water usage in corps should be followed.
- Some sewage plants were setup in fertile lands. This should be avoided. They must be setup in barren lands.
- Small sewage plants should be setup in small towns and villages around Ganga river.
- The outdated sewage plants need to be modernized.
- Trees along the river banks helps in arresting the soil erosion and in cleaning the pollutants.
Increasing awareness is the main solution to river Ganga river. With effective plans and implementation, the Ganga river can be cleaned. People and government together need to take responsibility in reviving the river Ganga.
Afterwords :- Do you think river Ganga will be cleaned for sure? Express your thoughts in the comment section below.
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