Now since the Ram mandir debate seems to be over, it’s high time we confront Ram and ask about his plans for the heavenly river Ganga. (By the way, I am happy that finally, the Ayodhya dispute has been settled. Now, I can maybe see some change in the system and paint a picture where our politics is revolving around development instead of circling the corridor of temples.)
Even years after the launch of the Clean Ganga initiative, the ground-reality offers no sight of remedy shortly. Though our ‘honest‘ government claims that the project is underway and on track, the real situation is just a nightmare.
According to a report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in early 2019, Ganga river water was found to be unfit for “direct drinking“. It was observed in the report that a major chunk of the Ganga river in the Uttar Pradesh-West Bengal stretch is unfit for bathing too.
The CPCB map titled ‘Sustainability Of River Ganga Water‘ further highlighted the significant level of coliform bacteria in the river which is detrimental to bio-diversity. (To access the report on Ganga pollution, click here.)
Isn’t it funny when you say Ganga river in our country is regarded as a mother and yet our mother is in this ailing state for so long?
Its been many years of efforts and crores of money that have been spent in the rejuvenation of the Ganga river, but it seems like the output has been more or less the same. The river which is considered ‘holier than thou’ for our country is on the verge of dying.
I won’t say that the government has not been making any effort towards its conservation, but how the policies are implemented in our country is what takes the life out of every damn project. Namami Gange is suffering from a similar fate. Tardy disbursal of funds, the slow pace of program implementation, and time and cost over-runs are some of the few maladies that our Ganga mother is fighting for.
Speaking to India Today on the condition of the Ganga river, Vikrant Tongad (Environmental activist) said, “Efforts can be lauded but certain other measures including public participation and managing agricultural waste generated after using pesticides are also required. The government had planned to clean the river by 2020 but it cannot be achieved till 2025.”
The Ganga Action Plan is a much-lauded program by our government which is filled with many noble commitments, but the program has not yet proved to be successful. And the debate regarding the success of this program becomes of much significance since the deadline of the proposed initiative is approaching soon.
People not only have the right to ask their government about the fulfillment of promises made to them but as taxpayers, they should hold the ruling administration accountable for its actions. The government is obligated to improve the environment and wildlife of the nation as per the provisions of the Constitution (Article 48A says that the State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country).
I am saddened by the images of our river nowadays. Don’t even dare to look up the current status of the Yamuna river, I swear tears will drip down from your eyes. The Yamuna has been turned into a sewage plant, literally.
There was a time when I used to go to my village and travel to the Ganga river to bathe, but now I can’t even think of doing that. It will be like bathing in a river of plastic, and I am not ready for that unless someone points a gun to my head.
I request the administration to pay more heed to this concern and increase the pace of work. I hope that we win this war against pollution and will be able to save our mother Ganga before there comes a time when the Ganga river will be only seen flowing in the poems of school text-books.
Rivers, timeless beauty of the land,
Don’t let it drain out and perish in the sand!