River Ganga and its banks are highly polluted and the holy river is in deep waters despite all the remedial measures. India’s plan to have a $ 3 billion project to clean Ganga is on the crossroads as the schedule go awry with large stretches of contaminated toxic waste occupies most of the river bed. Three quarters of sewage generated in towns and cities of North India flows untreated into the 2525 km stretch and needs to be cleared sooner before the monsoon rains causing havoc. Pollution has become a great menace of life. Actually, the river stretches from the Himalaya to the Bay of Bengal and is the main water source for over 500 million people. However, it has become a destination for waste produced by nearly 800 Industrial units. Over and above 5000 million litres of sewage from 118 town and cities in North India flows into the Ganga every day making it most contaminated water ever received through natural resources. However, the functioning capacity to treat sewage is just above 1000 million litres per day and that is very negligible. The newly elected BJP government in UP should work out all the possibilities to clear the air from pollution in the banks of the river and do well to the environment in the days to come.
All the countries whether developing or developed, suffer from environmental crisis. The environment today is under severe threat from the pressure generated by the growth of human and animal population poverty and the misuse of natural resources. During the last century, this problem has become so acute that people of all classes belonging to all walks of life (i.e.) scientists, academics, poets, lovers of wild life etc., have been called to discuss man’s responsibility in this connection. No doubt, some fragmentary legislative and administrative steps have been taken to meet this challenge but the size and seriousness of the problem have been increasing day by day at a higher pace. This problem is so acute that the hope of humanity will be able to meet this challenge, seems to recede. In fact, the impact of pollution is so alarming that according to Wealth Health Organisation’s estimates, as much as 90% of the world’s diseases are traceable to water pollution. Jaundice, typhoid, cholera and other gastroenetric diseases are attributed to water pollution.
The clean Ganga project is an ongoing project but proper follow up and care should be taken. The union ministry and the state governing body should join hands and see that the India’s life line clearance work is taken in right earnest and clear the pollution level to the minimum before the year end. After health is wealth and the health of the river will have a direct impact on the health condition of the people using the river water for drinking purpose.
Sudden respiratory distress, difficulty in breathing, respiratory cancer, lung cancer, asthma, increase bronchitis, coughs, eye irritations and general malaise have all been found to be associated with polluted air. Apart from the health costs, air pollution corrodes buildings and industrial materials. Combined with the moisture, a number of components of pollution from various kinds of acids that attach building materials. Steel deteriorates two or four times faster in polluted environment, as well as silver, leather and paper. State Government should have an action plan for a clean and green air and a public private partnership on this count will help out to reduce pollution and give a chance to breathe freely all the time round the year.
This type of indifferent attitude is shocking as the governments at the Centre and the States are typically unconcerned about increase in pollution level. While relatively smaller issues occupy centrestatge in the election to State assemblies and Parliament, pollution is far from being an issue on which concern is voiced but well ignored. Shocking apathy over air pollution in India is main cause for worry as the future generations will pay price for being so careless in a health conscious country like ours. Holy rivers in India should be taken proper care and environmentalist should have an eye on reducing the pollution level negligible and pay heed to the welfare of the people in a logistic way.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)