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  3. 3. The Ganges 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.
  4. 4. 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.
  5. 5.  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.
  6. 6. Industrial Wastes in the Ganges
  7. 7.  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.
  8. 8. The endangered Gangetic Dolphin
  9. 9. 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 2000.
  10. 10. 1.Non availability of Environmental State-of-the-Art. 2.Inappropriate Environmental Planning. 3.Establishment of non specific Sewage Treatment Plants on highly productive crop lands. 4. Least political dedication and vision to save the Ganga.
  11. 11.  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 river.  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 Ganges.