Ganga, the ‘National River‘ of India. It is not only a river for Indians, with this river faith of millions of people is connected and here people considered it like a goddess mother and called it ‘Ganga Maa’. It’s water considered as very sacred and are used during worship. During this lockdown, we have seen many news, which shows that this lockdown has been proved as a gift for Ganga and the government body aso confirmed that many positive changes have been seen due to no industrial work, no tourism, no people around it. But it sadly it lasts only few months.
Before going to discuss about the pollution, we need to understand what Ganga river basin is, a river basin is a region that is drained by a river, such as the Ganga. The Ganga River Basin flows through the 11 states of India covering nearly 25% of the land area of India. The Ganga river is the longest river in India but unfortunately one of the most polluted rivers in the world. It carries tonnes of plastic wastes, toxic chemicals, the garbage of daily chores.
In today’s time, around 45 million people reside in the Ganga basin. It has a great religious, cultural and socio-economic importance. Its water is not only used in worshipping it is also useful in – drinking water, irrigating fields, transportation of goods and people and many others.
According to the report of the the Pollution Control Board the sources of pollution in the river are
- Urban sewage
- Industrial waste
- Throwing of dead bodies
- Traditional practices
Many Industry are set up their plants near the water bodies for their convenience and now freely discharging their toxic chemicals substances into the river. Most industries in this river basin sugar and paper mills, cloth, woollens, cotton and rayon mills. Heavy metals such as cadmium, zinc, nickel, lead, chromium and copper are concentrated in the river water and the sediments.
The Ganga river basin is nurtured by many tributaries that drain the Himalayas and the Vindhya Satpura ranges. It mainly carries pollution from agricultural fields and makes the river contaminated that are very harmful for the environment and humans. The main cause of water pollution in the Ganga river is the increase in the population density, various human activities.
Out of the ten rivers that drain over 90% of the total plastic debris into the sea globally, three are of India:
- The Indus
- Ganga and
Many flagship programmes has been also launched such as:
- Ganga Action Plan
- Namami Gange Project
- Ganga Manthan
- Clean Ganga Fund
- National River Ganga Basin Authority (NRGBA)
- National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)
But even after spending millions of funds, we are still far away from seeing Ganga water clean. We have to understand the importance of Ganga before it is too late.
How To Fix It?
Some of the measure which can be done to make Ganga garbage free:
- Create Awareness among people
- Government should take strict measures in applying clean river programmes
- Public participation
- Alternative arrangements should be made for garbage dumping
- Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure
- River-Front Development
- River-Surface Cleaning
- Monitoring of Industrial wastes