The Ganges or Ganga, is a trans-boundary
river of India and Bangladesh. The 2,525 km (1,569 mi) river
rises in the western Himalayas in the Indian state
of Uttarakhand, and flows south and east through
the Gangetic Plain of North India into Bangladesh, where it
empties into the Bay of Bengal. By discharge it ranks among
the world's top 20 rivers. The Ganges basin is the most
heavily populated river basin in the world, with over 400
million people and a population density of about 1,000
inhabitants per square mile.
The Ganges was ranked among the top five
most polluted rivers of the world in 2007,
with fecal coliform levels in the river
near Varanasi more than hundred times the
official Indian government limits. Pollution
threatens not only humans, but also more
than 140 fish species, 90 amphibian species
and the endangered Ganges river dolphin.It is
filled with chemical wastes, sewage and even
human and animal remains which carry major
health risks by either direct bathing in the
dirty water, or by drinking.
Sewage from many cities along the river's
course, industrial waste and religious offerings
wrapped in non-degradable plastics have
added large amounts of pollutants to the river
as it flows through densely populated areas.
The cremated and uncremated dead bodies
that are let to flow in the river, as per the Hindu
tradition, have also added to the pollution.
The “holy dips” and bathes in the river, too,
have added to the pollution.
The people living in the region around the
Ganges suffer and sometimes, even die
from diseases like diarrhea, viral
hepatitis, typhoid, cholera.
There is a lack of clean drinking water.
Since the river Ganges passes through
many different parts of India, the
pollutants contained are deposited in
other cleaner areas too.
The aquatic life in the Ganges, too, is
facing a huge threat.
The Ganga Action Plan or GAP was a program
launched by Rajiv Gandhi in April 1985 in order to
reduce the pollution load on the river. The program
was launched with much fanfare, but it failed to
decrease the pollution level in the river, after
spending 901.71 crore (approx.1010) rupees over
a period of 15 years. The activities of GAP phase I
initiated in 1985 were declared closed on 31 March
1.Non availability of Environmental
3.Establishment of non specific
Sewage Treatment Plants on highly
productive crop lands.
4. Least political dedication and
vision to save the Ganga.
The reasons listed in the previous slide, due
to which the GAP failed, must be eliminated,
and a stronger GAP should be launched.
Volunteers should be assigned to clear
physical wastes such as plastic from the
Sewage treatment plants must be
constructed on the banks of the Ganges.
The dead bodies must be completely burnt
or cremated before letting them flow in the
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