The holy river Ganga, is literally dying because of the water pollution. It has been reduced to a sewage drain. The river is choked with pollutants at every step.
The Ganga is among the 10 most endangered rivers of the world. CNN-IBN investigates just why the River Ganga ranks in the top five most polluted rivers of the world. The Ganga today is more polluted than when than when the Ganga Action Plan was first initiated by the late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1986. It is very shocking tale related to river cleaning programme.
The Ganga Action Plan (GAP), India’s most ambitious river cleaning project, is a big failure. After spending Rs 20,000 crore to clean the Ganga, the river remains polluted.
Over the last 20 years more than £100m has been spent to clean up the river as it winds through the industrial heartlands of Uttar Pradesh, but as the scenes at Kanpur confirm, with little or no effect.
The story of the Ganges’s slow death is a story of the corruption and impotence which -for all the headlines celebrating the new booming, hi-tech India – continue to paralyse Indian government.
Rakesh Jaiswal, an environmental scientist who has campaigned to clean up the Ganga for more than a decade, looks down in mute frustration as the effluent, laden with acids and heavy metals, gushes into the river.
All that money has literally gone down the drain – or into the pockets of corrupt officials and businessmen. The Ganges is measurably worse off now than when Rajiv Gandhi, our late prime minister, approved the plan to save her.
Everyone knows the source of the pollution – the tanneries – and everyone equally knows the solution – installing a water treatment plant – and yet between the tannery owners and the government there is ‘nothing to be done’.
In the early 1990s, after a directive from India’s supreme court, a plant was built at Kanpur to treat the tannery effluent, jointly funded by the tannery owners and the government. The tanneries and the city sewage outlets which run directly into the Ganges are killing the river.
Government limits say that this run-off should contain not more than 2mg per litre of chromium, which is a highly toxic by-product of the tanning process. But the tests showed it contained 150mg-170mg per litre. Along with chrome iron is also present in the river Ganga. Scientists from IIT Kanpur tested the Ganga water for CNN-IBN. Dr Padma Vankar said,
When we tested the water, we saw that the test tube had turned blue, which indicates the presence of chrome. Chrome results in causing various diseases.
Due to continuous pollution of Ganga, threat is not only to humans, but also to several other species living there. The river is home to more than 140 fish species, 90 amphibian species and the endangered Ganga river dolphin.
Nehru had once said,
From her source to the sea, from old times to new, the Ganga is the story of India’s civilisation.
Via : IBNLive.com