Saturday, June 19, 2010

Save our Rivers

As part of our visit to Uttranchal on a recent holiday, we went to Gangotri. This is the place where the holy river Ganga has a temple dedicated to Her. The actual origination of Ganga is in a place called Gaumukh which is about 18kms trek from this Gangotri.

From the point of origin till she reaches the plains at Haridwar, the Ganga is clean, pure and fresh. She is a delight to watch as she gushes onwards like a young damsel full of vigour and cheerful spirit. She supports life all along the way and the entire area surrounding her path is fertile, lush green and heavenly.

Unfortunately, people along the path have not understood that the responsibility to keep her clean is in their hands. All through the plains, people use her as a dumping ground for their waste and convert a beautiful river into a virtual gutter. Towns dump their drainage into her and factories dump their effluents without even treating it. People even throw half burnt dead bodies into her. The increased use of chemicals in our every day lives (eg. tooth paste, wasing soap, cleaning soap etc.) eventually finds its way into our rivers.

All of these leads to a the precious and much venerated river becoming dirty and unfit for consumption. The natural and clean mineral rich river becomes like an ordinary drain within a few hundred kilometers of existence in the plains. All this leads to serious damage to vegetation and marine life in and around the river. What a pity that no one has the courage or the commitment to change this!!

The story is no different for the other revered rivers like the Yamuna which resembles a brackish foul smelling drain by the time she reaches Delhi which not too far away from her origin.

Despite huge amounts of money being spent in cleaning the Ganga, nothing much is really happening. There is an urgent need for people to realise the criticality of this and take steps to prevent the pollution of the Ganga. Strong political will coupled with social movement is needed to bring the Ganga back to her days of glory. People living along her banks should be vigilant to prevent any foreign matter being dumped into her.

The good news is that if we can prevent fresh dumping, the rivers have a self cleansing mechanism and, in a short time, we can see a rejuvenated river enhancing the quality of health and life all around.


V Rakesh said...

I was reading, only a few days ago, of how polluted the Ganges is and that one would risk all kinds of infections upon coming into contact with it's water!

The sad things is that rivers are being used as ferries for industrial and human waste!

At the rate at which this is headed, we'd have no clean water left in sometime!

Sonal Raisinghani said...

It is very sad to hear that such good rivers are used for dumping waste..!
We people on one hand say there is a need to cultivate water.... store rain water etc etc.. on the other hand waste the resources we have..I completely agree with you sir that We cannot blame govt only for this.. It is joint efforts required to bring results..If we really love the country we need to maintain its resources also. Specially such good tourist spots.. how can we attract tourists then?.

rama said...

I am Rama from Bangalore. I totally agree with you. My husband is chemical engineer dealing with treating waste water etc. He is saving so much water for Bangalore by treating all the waste water and converting them to potable water for plants and other such uses. It is a kind of mission for him.
The Munar, Ooty and various hill stations have now turned into a hill stations of plastics. Why do we do this to our beautiful places?

Anonymous said...

What shame for all of us, we call river 'Ganges' mother but we don't care about her survival.Rivers are the life blood of millions today and because of us they are fighting for their survival.Though we wish to do a lot we just remain helpless spectators..

Its time authorities make strict decisions against industries or any other party that dumps harmful materials in it and also draws plans for further development..Its also time each member of the society take a pledge never to pollute a river directly or indirectly..


Latha Nair said...

We have already killed rivers like the Mitti and Cooum by our callousness.
Both rivers used to serve as storm water drains for Mumbai and Chennai in their unpolluted avtar. But now that these are used as just sewers they pose a hazard during high tide/floods bringing polluted water into the cities and the cities end up getting flooded during monsoons.
I totally agree with what Rama says-the bald hills of Ooty are a heart-rending sight indeed. About six or seven years ago, the then Collector of Nilgiris was actively working for creating awareness on saving the mountains from pollutants and a few restrictions were imposed and followed too. But like all controls, these too are diluted now with the change of guard and everything remains only on paper. The damage has already been done. Sad indeed.

Being Pramoda... said...

heard a lot abt the same and saw a show on news channel also abt the rivers in American continent.

Is our true responsibility to address this issue..

Lets do it.. Thanks for the call vish