Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Tears Of Ganga: The Story Of Nanami Gange

The government claims that the Namami Gange project to clean the Ganga is on course to meet the targets and objectives but, according to scientific studies conducted by experts, the water quality is continuously deteriorating in many stretches of the river. It raises several questions about where the money purportedly being spent in the name of the holy river is going
January 5, 2023
Dark waters: Untreated industrial effluents and domestic wastewater flowing directly into the Ganga are the biggest sources of its pollution [Photo: DANIEL BACHHUBER I FLICKRJPG]

The Ganga has been revered through the ages. Apart from mythological references, the constant flow and presence of certain organisms in its waters have bestowed a special status on it. The holy river has nurtured civilisation along its banks from time immemorial. But, in return humans along the riverside, and beyond, kept inundating it with waste. And the Ganga continued to carry it all quietly down the stream. With time, the garbage burgeoned. Despite the awe and reverence the river evoked, people did not think twice about polluting its waters. Over the years, an enormous amount of money has been poured into India’s holiest river to clean it up yet the level of toxins in the waters of the Ganga has not reduced.

Despite generating more than 40% of India’s GDP in the densely populated Ganga Basin, the river is facing threats impacting water quality and flow. In some places, like Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, the quality of water is affected by effluents from industries while in Bihar’s capital of Patna, the river’s flow has shifted away from its earlier banks for a long stretch.

This year, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) mentioned that the Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited had failed to meet its deadline for use of funds to improve the sewage infrastructure. The report, tabled in the Bihar Assembly on March 30, 2021, said that the Bihar State Ganga River Conservation and Programme Management Society had utilised only ₹1,349.04 crore of the sanctioned ₹5,487.76 crore till December 31, 2020, leaving a substantial part of the fund unused.

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Jayanta Bhattacharya

Journalist. Curious about astronomy, cinema, communications, digital media, geostrategy, human rights, military, tech, and nature.