Ganga is the Indian national river, also known as the holy river in the Hindu mythologies. It is also the longest river flowing in India. It originates from the Himalayas from the states of Uttarakhand and has a stretch of 2525 km and culminates in at the Bay of Bengal.
The villages and cities located along river Ganga depend on it for their livelihood. They do their daily chores by using the water of it, along with those farmers living at the banks of Ganga are dependent on its water for irrigation.
However, according to international surveys, Ganga is one of the most polluted rivers in the world. There is a huge difference between the quality and colour of the water at the time it reaches the Bay of Bengal, from the time it gets originated.
People living along the banks of the river dump domestic waste in it, the sewage system is directly connected to the river, and domestic animals are being cleaned in the Ganga itself.
Industrial wastes are also being discharged into the Ganga without any treatment. Fertilisers and chemicals are being washed off from the lands into the river during precipitation. These human activities have deteriorated the quality of river Ganga and have made it highly polluted.
Forthwith, to limit such severe activities of humans, the Government of India took the initiative and launched a program called “Ganga Gram Yojana.”
The Union Government has launched this project to develop 1600 villages in Uttar Pradesh situated along the banks of Ganga River. It was launched by the Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti at Puthi village in Hapur district of UP.
Various programs and schemes have been implemented by the union and the state government to make the Ganga River clean regardless of how many cities, towns, and villages are situated along the banks of the river.
Salient features of Ganga Gram Yojana Programme
- 1600 villages situated along the banks of river Ganga will be developed under this scheme.
- In these selected villages open drains discharging waste directly into the river Ganga will be diverted to sewage treatment facility.
- It has been made mandatory for every household in these villages to have functional toilets.
- In the first phase of Ganga Gram Yojana scheme, 200 villages in Up have been selected.
- Under this programme, these selected villages will be developed under the Sichewal Model (village in Punjab) which is based on cooperation of the villagers for water management and waste disposal.
- Government will spend one crore rupees on every village under this programme.
Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation also deployed the first company of Ganga Task Force Battalion to fast track implementation of Namami Gange Programme. It was deployed first at Garhmukteshwar town in Hapur district of UP.
Three such companies will be deployed soon at Kanpur, Varanasi and Prayagraaj. The force of this project will be deployed soon at the banks of river Ganga to ensure that industries and local citizens do not pollute the river.
What is Namami Gange Programme?
Namami Gange Project or Namami Ganga Yojana is a dedicated Union Government Project to call the attention towards the concern of making Ganga River clean. This project has integrated various efforts to protect the river from awful human activities.
In its maiden budget, the government announced Rs. 2037 Crore towards this mission. The project is officially known as integrated Ganga Conservation Mission project or “Namami Ganga Yojana”.
This project aims at Ganga rejuvenation by putting forward efforts and planning to achieve the target positively.
Major threats caused by the pollution of the Ganga River
Human existence is at risk
Those who live near the banks of the river and are dependent on the river only for their day to day livelihood are suffering a lot owing to the deterioration of the quality of water. They consumed contaminated water and fell ill. However, water-borne diseases are also being germinated from the bad quality of water.
Due to the clogging of domestic and industrial wastes, various bacteria and fungi get the environment to reproduce in the stagnant water and spread chronic diseases. These diseases affect humans for the long term and often lead to the death of the affected individuals.
A menace for animals
Dolphins, who are the signature animal for the River Ganga, are dying at an alarming rate because of the highly contaminated water. This has put forward the major concern for animals as they are fully dependent on the river’s water, and they don’t know which water is impure or which is pure. Humans wash their clothes or utensils, and detergents are get discharged into the river, which is then consumed by the animals. These intoxicated chemicals paralyse their organ functioning and cause the death of these animals.
Scarcity of water
Water has been scarce, and people are not able to fulfill their basic needs. Because of the intoxicated water, people avoid the use of it. Their economy and financial condition are getting down because there is no pure water for crops, and if impure water is used, crops will die. Villagers living along the banks of the river are being deprived of all the facilities. Their cattle suffer too, which results in the lacking of food for them.
Industrial wastes and human excreta are consumed by the animals directly, which often leads to the death of these animals. Biodiversity is threatened. The ecosystem is getting disturbed owing to the loss of thousands of species. There should be proper sewage treatment installations in almost every village to conquer such barbaric issues.
It’s high time to think about our biodiversity, and that can only be done by doing efforts to make River Ganga clean. Biodiversity should be conserved comprehensively by considering that animal life is important to run a smooth ecosystem.
Considering all the issues mentioned above, Government had launched ‘Ganga Gram Yojana and Namami Gange Programme’ as a mission to achieve the target of cleaning River Ganga in an effective manner with the unceasing involvement of all stakeholders, especially five major basin states- Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal. Thousands of guards are being recruited at the banks of the Ganga to keep a check on the people who are polluting the water.
Sewage treatment plants are to be installed in the selected villages situated along the bank of Ganga. Industries are being shut down in the areas which are fragile to cease the gushing of noxious chemicals. Afforestation is being promoted in the villages. Public awareness has also been increased with the continuous encouragement of the project.