Ganga River Pollution Essay

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In completion of this case study, I got the help and guidance of some respected persons, who deserve my deepest gratitude. I have completed my case study on Ganga Pollution. I have worked with full dedication and studied the case thoroughly and searched for ideas for solutions myself. I studied causes of pollution, problems arisen, future outcomes, steps taken by Indian government in regard to it. I have also included some innovative thoughts for remedy. I would also like to expand my gratitude to all those who have directly and indirectly guided me in writing this assignment.

Ganga flows through the plains of the northern India. It’s also known as “Ganges”. It is a holy river of Hinduism having many historical significances. In most of its path it is a wide stream. It flows through one of the most fertile and densely populated regions in the world. It is the longest river of India stretching 2,510 km.

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It emerges from the Himalayas and goes all the way through northern India to Bay of Bengal, it drains one-fourth of the territory of India, and its basin supports hundreds of millions of people. Most of the journey of Ganga covers Indian territory, although its large delta in the Bengal area, which it shares with the Brahmaputra River, lies mostly in Bangladesh. The general direction of the river’s flow is from northwest to southeast. At its delta the flow is generally southward.

Ganga is the largest river in India and poses a significant role in water supply, development and drainage. Its pollution can lead to problems related to human health and environment. Getting polluted by sewage and industrial waste, the river supplies water to nearly 40% of India's population in 11 states, it benefits an estimated population of 500 million.

Due to all these factors causing pollution, Ganga is considered to be the sixth-most polluted river in the world. This problem of pollution is not new, it has been there from decades and by the time people finally saw the consequences and started speaking of the Ganga as polluted. Over six hundred kilometres of the river is classified as essentially ecologically dead zones.

The river flows through many cities of which many are densely populated. A large proportion of the sewage water from this population through domestic water usage deposits in the Ganga.

Many industrial cities have been built on the bank of the Ganga due to supply of water and drainage and easy transportation through. Many factories, chemical plants, textile mills prosper and grow along this and contribute to the pollution of the Ganges by dumping untreated waste into it. There is a coal-based power plant on the banks a river which is a Ganges tributary near the city of Kanpur and known as Pandu. It yearly usage of coal as fuel for burning is 600,000 and it produces 210,000 tons of fly ash. The ash is then dumped into ponds from which a slurry is filtered, mixed with domestic wastewater, and then it is released into the Pandu River. Fly ash consists of toxic heavy metals such as lead and copper and causes health issues to anyone coming in direct contact with it.

Quality of water of a river determines health of people settled on its banks. An analysis of the Ganga water showed chemicals causing water-borne/enteric. Water in the Ganga has been said to be one of the causes of dysentery, cholera, hepatitis and diarrhoea which is one of the leading causes of death of children in India.

Some of the dams which are to be constructed along the Ganga basin will submerge areas of forests which are essential for healthy ecosystem.

The results of mercury analysis in various specimens collected along the basin indicated that some of the fish muscles tended to accumulate higher levels of mercury. Consisting 50–84% of organic mercury. It shows a strong positive correlation between mercury levels in muscle with food habit and fish length.

The Ganga river dolphin is one of few species of fresh water dolphins in the world and it has been listed as an endangered species and their population is believed to be less than 2000. Hydroelectric and irrigation dams along the Ganges that prevents the dolphins from travelling up and down river is the main reason for their reducing population. The Ganges softshell turtle is found in the Ganga. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, freshwater turtle species are vulnerable. Due to their long lifespan and high trophic level in the aquatic food web, turtles are vulnerable to heavy metals pollution, a major kind of pollution in the Ganga.

The Ganges Action Plan (GAP) was launched by Rajiv Gandhi, the late Prime Minister of India, on June 1986 with covering 25 Class I towns (6 in Uttar Pradesh, 4 in Bihar and 15 in West Bengal) Rs 862.59 crore were spent. Its main objective was to improve the water quality by the interception, diversion and treatment of domestic sewage and to prevent toxic and industrial chemical wastes from identified polluting units from entering the river.

NRGBA was established by the Central Government of India, on 20 February 2009 under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986. It declared the Ganges as the 'National River' of India. The chair includes the Prime Minister of India and chief ministers of states through which the Ganges flows. In 2011, the World Bank approved $1 billion in funding for the National Ganges River Basin Authority.

n 2010, it was announced that 'the Indian government has embarked on a $4 billion campaign to ensure that by 2020 no untreated municipal sewage or industrial runoff enters the 1,560-mile river.

In the budget tabled in Parliament on 10 July 2014, the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced an integrated Ganges development project titled 'Namami Gange' (meaning 'Obeisance to the Ganges river') and allocated ₹2,037 crore for this purpose.[10] The objectives were effective abatement of pollution, conservation, and rejuvenation of the Ganges. Under the project, 8 states are covered. Dept of Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation proposes to make 1,674 gram panchayats by the Ganges open defecation-free by 2022, at a cost of Rs 1,700 cr (central share). An estimated Rs 2,958 Crores (US$460 million) have been spent till July 2016 in various efforts in cleaning up of the river.

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