The cleaning one of the most revered river in India, Ganga, was one of the initiatives in the Narendra Modi led BJP manifesto before they won a landslide victory in 2014. A mission named Namami Gange was set up with objectives of abatement of pollution and river rejuvenation but it appears that even after 4 years, the Ganga still remains in an “extremely bad” state.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) have said the situation of Ganga was extraordinarily bad and hardly anything effective measure has been taken to clean the river. The NGT chairperson Justice A K Goel said that despite claims by the authorities, the work done on the ground for Ganga rejuvenation was not adequate and regular monitoring was required to improve the situation.
“It is the most prestigious river in the country which 100 crore people respect but we are unable to protect it.Let us try to make the mechanism as strong and effective as possible,” said Justices Jawad Rahim and R S Rathore.
The NGT had earlier struck the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) for not filing a compliance report on the steps taken by the Centre and the UP and Uttarakhand governments to clean the river Ganga in the stretch between Gomukh and Unnao.
The green panel, in a detailed judgement, had passed a slew of directions to rejuvenate Ganga, declaring as ‘No Development Zone’ an area of 100 metres from the edge of the river between Haridwar and Unnao and prohibiting dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river.
The tribunal stated that the government has spent over Rs 7,000 crore in two years to clean the Ganga which still remains a “serious environmental issue”.
Earlier, On Jan 14, 1986, Rajiv Gandhi had launched Ganga Action Plan to free Ganga of pollution, domestic sewage and industrial chemical wastes. Later, in 2009, UPA government established a River Basin Authority for ensuring effective abatement of pollution and conservation of the river.
Untreated sewage, tanneries, chemical plants, textile mills, distilleries, slaughterhouses, hospitals, leather industries, fertilisers and pesticides all contribute to the pollution of Ganga. Moreover, dead bodies are being released in the river after cremation on the banks.