Will Ganga be ever clean?

Pious and Dirty Ganga: When will it be cleaned?

Environmentalist GD Agarwal, former profressor at IIT Kanpur, sent three letters to PMO for Ganga-Cleaning but PMO gave the deaf ear. He suffered a cardiac arrest , while on fast to save River Ganga since June 22, and passed away.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief on the demise of the environmentalist. “Saddened by the demise of Shri GDAgarwal Ji. His passion towards learning, education, saving the environment, particularly Ganga cleaning will always be remembered. My condolences,” PM Modi tweets.

A former professor at the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur, Aggarwal demanded dropping of the construction of all hydroelectric projects around Ganga and its tributaries.

 

Ganga cleaning was there in Modi’s manifesto in 2014 assembly elections. The promise seems to be shifted to 2019 assembly elections.”[But,] the government’s actions have been far from enough, a parliamentary committee said.

“Modi ji said river Ganga is calling him but it is even more polluted than it was in 2014. Rs 22000 Cr was allotted for cleaning it, not even 1/4th of it has been used. Is Namami Gange also a ‘jumla’? Maybe GD Agarwal ji’s sacrifice will provide vision to this blind govt,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

River Ganga will be clean and full of water within a year, if not then I am ready to face the punishment that deems fit, Nitin Gadkari,Union water resource Minister, told India TV Editor-in-Chief Rajat Sharma in Aap ki Adalat which was telecast on September 30.

“The work has begun on 258 projects. “, Gadkari said.

 

“I can promise you that there will be a significant improvement in Ganga waters within a year,” he said, adding that soon a notification for ‘Aviral Ganga’ will also be issued, which aims at maintaining at least one-foot water level in the river at all times of the year.

 

But we need to evaluate the weight of these promises in the wake of Construction of around 1.5 million toilets in rural areas along the Ganga, besides another 1.45 million toilets in urban areas under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, are likely to produce 180 mld of faecal sludge which too will find its way into the Ganga. Then there is the run-off from the 6 million tonne of fertilisers and 9,000 tonne of pesticides used in agriculture within the basin.

Reiterating the government’s commitment towards a continuous and clean Ganga, he said the draft Ganga Act will be sent to the Cabinet for approval. GD Aggarwal had also requested for the same. Since he lost his life demanding the same, the government’s promise to the enact Ganga Protection Management Act seems hollow.

 

The notification issued by the government will ensure that the river has at least the minimum required environmental flow of water even after its flow gets diverted by projects and structures for purposes like irrigation, hydropower, domestic and industrial use.
Modi government had launched the Namami Gange programme in June 2014 with budget outlay of Rs 20,000 crore aimed to abate pollution and rejuvenate Ganges.
Today, National Mission for Ganga cleaning has approved the composite sewerage project in Agra.

On implementation of the project the discharge of untreated sewage will be avoided from Chhapra town into the river.

The sickness of implementation is the problem.