Introduction and map of Ganga
Ganga India's national river
Source of Ganga River
Ganga River in plains
Pollution in Ganga River
Ganga action plan
Ganga set to vanish near its source
Ganga in Hindu religion
Ganga river is rapidly shrinking
Idol immersion in Ganga
Ganga delta and Ganga in sea
Ganga in Kolkata
Kosi River - The Sorrow of Bihar
Now Ganga threatened by Expressway
Ganga and groundwater contamination
Ganga threatened by climate change
Ganga a national heritage
The Ganga at Varanasi
The Ganga at Allahabad
Mission Clean Ganga
Introduction and map of Ganga
The Ganga (गगां) is a major river of the Indian subcontinent
rising in the Himalaya Mountains and flowing about 2,510 km (1,560 mi) generally eastward through a vast plain to the
Bay of Bengal. On its 1,560-mi (2,510-km) course, it flows southeast through the Indian states of Uttar
Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal. In central Bangladesh it is joined by the Brahmaputra (ब्रम्हपुत्र) River
and Meghna rivers. Their combined waters (called the Padma River)
empty into the Bay of Bengal and form a delta 220 mi (354 km) wide, which is shared by India and Bangladesh. Its plain is one of the most fertile and densely
populated regions in the world. The Ganges alone drains an area of over a million square km with a population of over 407
million. Millions depend on water from the holy river for several things: drinking, bathing, agriculture, industry and other household chores.
On line Source of Ganga map
Ganga -tales of river Goddess
Kumbh Mela 2013
Uttarakhand: 6,000 Mw of hydropower to be hit
The report of the inter-ministerial group (IMG) headed by Planning
Commission member B K Chaturvedi would affect the hydropower sector in
the Ganga river basin of Uttarakhand.
Ganga the prisoner of power projects
A new rishi to save the Ganga
Sundarbans the World's largest delta fast disappearing into sea
Ganga river known as Ganga Maata (गगां माता) or Mother Ganges is revered as a goddess whose purity cleanses the sins
of the faithful and aids the dead on their path toward heaven. In most Hindu families, a vial of water from the Ganga is kept in every house. It is believed that
drinking water from the Ganga with one's last breath will take the soul to heaven. Hindus also believe life is incomplete without bathing in the Ganga at least
once in their lifetime. Some of the most important Hindu festivals and religious congregations are celebrated on the banks of the river Ganga such as the Kumbh Mela or the Kumbh
Fair and the Chhat Puja. Kumbh Mela (कुम्भ मेला) is the largest religious gathering on Earth for Hindu
peoples, where around 70 million Hindus from around the world participated in the last Kumbh Mela at the Hindu Holy city Prayaga (also known as Allahabad).
The upper Ganges supplies water to extensive irrigation works. The river passes
the holy bathing sites at Haridwar, Allahabad (where the Yamuna river enters the Ganga), and Varanasi. Below Allahabad the Ganges becomes a slow, meandering
stream with shifting channels. Because of its location near major population centers, however, the river is highly polluted. The Ganga collects large amounts of human
pollutants as it flows through highly populous areas. These populous areas, and other people down stream, are then
exposed to these potentially hazardous accumulations.
Map of Ganga
The enlarged map of Ganga river from Gangotri to Bay of Bengal
Ganga India's national river
The mighty Ganga is not only
the river but much more to the millions for whom the Ganga is a symbol of faith, hope, substance and sanity. Therefore the Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh declared on November 4, 2008 that henceforth the Ganga would be known as India's 'national river'.
The Prime minister has also announced the proposal to set up a separate high powered Ganga River Basin Authority to stop its
pollution and degradation. Chaired by the Prime minister, the authority would have as the members the chief ministers of states
through which the river flows, besides working closely with ministers of water resources, environment and forests, urban
development and others as well as agencies working on river conservation and pollution management.
The first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru wrote in his book "The Ganges, above all, is the river of India which has held Indias heart
captive and drawn uncounted millions to her banks since the dawn of history. The story of the Ganges, from her source to the sea, from old times to new, is the
story of Indias civilisation and culture, of the rise and fall of empires, of great and proud cities, of adventures of man."
The Ganga will be pure and free of pollutants by 2020, the Centre promised before the Supreme Court on October 23, 2010.
Without dwelling on the past when nearly 1,000 crore was spent under the failed Ganga Action Plan initiated in the late 1980s, attorney general G
E Vahanvati assured a Bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar that the National Ganga River Basin Authority
(NGRBA) headed by the prime minister would deal with river pollution in a comprehensive manner.
In a significant step on November 1, 2010, the government has given in-principle nod for declaring the 135-km stretch of the Ganga between Gaumukh and
Uttarkashi as an eco-sensitive zone seeking specific activities to protect the rich biodiversity of the region.
The National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) in its meeting held
on November 1, 2010 also approved discontinuation of 3 hydro projects,-Bhaironghati, Pala Maneri and NTPC's Loharinag Pala proposed on the river.
On April 28, 2011 the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Project for cleaning of River Ganga to be implemented by the National Ganga River
Basin Authority (NGRBA) at an estimated cost of Rs. 7000 crore. The share of Government of India will be Rs 5100 crore and that of the State
Governments of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal will be Rs 1900 crore.
On June 28, 2011 Indian officials signed an agreement with the World Bank
to use a $1 billion loan to finance the first major new effort in more than 20 years to cleanse the revered Ganges, one of the world’s
dirtiest rivers. The long-awaited loan is part of a government project that aims to halt
the discharge of untreated wastewater into the river by 2020. The project, founded in 2009, replaced the 1986 Ganga Action Plan, the last
large-scale attempt to address the pollution. That initiative was able to introduce waste water treatment in certain areas, it failed to halt raw waste disposal into the Ganges.
The third meeting of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) on April 17, 2012, which took place only under pressure from activists
and media, came a copper with no seemingly decisive action plan or even a date for the next meeting. It was third meeting in the last three years.
Source of Ganga River
In the Uttarakhand Himalayas
where glacial water flowing from a cave at Gaumukh, is the origin of the Bhagirathi river. Gaumukh has been described as a desolate
place at an altitude of about 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). Twenty-three kilometers from Gaumukh, the river reaches Gangotri, the first town on its path.
Thousands of visitors come to Gangotri each year, from every part of the world. Gangotri is situated at a height of more than 10,000 feet in Uttarkashi district,
is one of the four shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath and Yamunotri commonly called Chardham. So far nearly 3.50 lakh tourists have visited the shrine this
year 2010. The shrine, dedicated to Goddess Ganga, is closed in October-November every year as the area remains snow-bound during the winters. The idol
of Ganga is kept in nearby Mukhba village for worship during the period. The shrine reopens for pilgrims in April-May next year.
The river which joins the Alaknanda river at Devaprayag, also in the Uttarakhand Himalayas, to form the Ganga. The Ganga then flows through the
Himalayan valleys and emerges into the north Indian plain at the town of Haridwar.
Recent pictures taken by Google Earth via satellite have confirmed that an eight-km stretch of the Bhagirathi river has dried up. The river is shown snaking through the Himalayan
mountains as one long, sandy stretch minus any water. Other rivers emanating from the Gangotri glacier, including the Bhilangana, the Assi Ganga and the
Alaknanda, all tributaries of the Ganga river, are drying up.
Since the river Ganga (Bhagirathi) is still emanating from the ice cave (Gaumukh) of Gangotri Glacier, no steps are required to be taken at present for bringing back the flow of river Ganga.
As far as the recession of the glacier is concerned it is a part of natural phenomena and cannot be stopped by using short term artificial measures. This information was given by Union
Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Kapil Sibal, in a written reply to a question by Shri Vijoy Krishna in the Lok Sabha on April 29, 2008.
Ganga River in plains
On its 1,560-mi (2,510-km) course in plains, Ganga flows southeast through the Indian states of Uttar
Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal. The Ganga passing some of the most populous cities
of India, including Kanpur , Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, and Kolkata. The Yamuna, which originates less than a hundred miles east of the
Bhagirathi, flows parallel to the Ganga and a little to the south for most of its course before merging with the Ganga at the holy city of Allahabad, also known as
Triveni Sangam. New Delhi, capital of India, and Agra, site of the Taj Mahal, are two of the major cities on the
The largest tributary to the Ganga is the Ghaghara, which meets it before
Patna, in Bihar, bearing much of the Himalayan glacier melt from Northern Nepal. The Gandak, which comes from near Katmandu, is another big Himalayan tributary.
Other important rivers that merge with the Ganga are the Son, which originates in the hills of Madhya Pradesh, the Gomti which flows past Lucknow, and then meets with the river Chambal.
On its way it passes the towns of Mirzapur, Varanasi, Patna and Bhagalpur. At Bhagalpur, the river meanders past the Rajmahal Hills, and beings
to change course southwards. At Pakaur, the river begins its first attrition with the branching away of its first distributary, the River Bhagirathi, which
goes on to form the River Hooghly. Close to the border with Bangladesh, the Farakka Barrage, built in 1974 controls the flow of the Ganges, diverting some
of the water into a feeder canal linking the Hooghly to keep it relatively silt free.
After entering Bangladesh, the main branch of the Ganges is known as Padma River till it is joined by the Jamuna River the
largest distributaries of the Brahmaputra. Further downstream, the Ganges is fed by the Meghna River, the
second largest distributaries of the Brahmaputra (ब्रम्हपुत्र) River and takes on its name. Fanning
out into the 350 km (220 mi) wide Ganges Delta, it empties out into the Bay of Bengal. The delta of the Ganga, or rather, that of the
Hooghly River and the Padma, is a vast ragged swamp forest (42,000 sq km) called the
Sundarbans world’s largest Ganga delta
Pollution in Ganga River
Ganga finds its name in the list of the five most polluted rivers of the world. In certain areas in Ganga river the bacteria levels are more than 100
times higher than the limits set by the government. From washing clothes to dumping bodies, the river's purity is maligned every day and in spite
of the alarming levels of pollution, people continue to use the water to drink and take a bath.
Today, over 29 cities, 70 towns, and thousands of villages extend along the
Ganga banks. Nearly all of their sewage - over 1.3 billion liters per day - goes directly into the river, along with thousands of animal
carcasses, mainly cattle. Another 260 million liters of industrial waste are added to this by hundreds of factories along the rivers
banks. Municipal sewage constitutes 80 per cent by volume of the total waste dumped into the
Ganga, and industries contribute about 15 percent. The majority of the Ganga pollution is organic waste,
sewage, trash, food, and human and animal remains. Over the past century, city populations along the
Ganga have grown at a tremendous rate, while waste-control infrastructure has remained relatively unchanged.
Recent water samples collected in Varanasi revealed fecal-coliform counts of about 50,000 bacteria per 100 milliliters of water, 10,000% higher than the government standard for safe river bathing. The result of this
pollution is an array of water-borne diseases including cholera, hepatitis, typhoid and amoebic dysentery. An estimated 80% of all health
problems and one-third of deaths in India are attributable to water-borne diseases.
Gaumukh is origin of river Bhagirathi, which forms Ganga at Devprayag,
after merging with river Alakananda. Gaumukh is about 18 kms from the town of
Gangotri. The terminus of Gangotri glacier resemble a cow’s mouth and hence its name Gaumukh.
Gangotri is considered Bhagirathi’s main water source even though many
other glaciers in the basin provide water to the river.
According a news in HT on July 19, 2012 Gaumukh on Gangotri glacier has dried up
and a new source has emerged around 20 meters away with a formation of a glacial lake threatening to burst.
Gangotri shrine to open on May 13
The doors of the Gangotri temple, at a height of 3100
metres, will open for the devotees on May 13, 2013 after having been closed for the winters.
Gangotri, the origin of the River Ganga and seat of the goddess Ganga, is one of the four sites in the Char Dham pilgrimage The original Gangotri
Temple was built by the Gurkha general Amar Singh Thapa. The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the
name Ganga from Devprayag onwards where it meets the Alaknanda. The origin of the holy river is at Gaumukh, set in the
Gangotri Glacier, and is a 19 km trek from Gangotri.
According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Ganga took the form of a river to
absolve the sins of King Bhagiratha’s predecessors, following his severe penance of several centuries.
The ancient Dhari Devi shrine, said to be facing threat of submergence due
to the Srinagar hydroelectric project.
The sacred practice of depositing human remains in the Ganga also poses health
threats because of the unsustainable rate at which partially cremated cadavers are dumped. In Varanasi, some 40,000 cremations
are performed each year, most on wood pyres that do not completely consume the body. Along with the remains of these traditional
funerals, there are thousands more who cannot afford cremation and whose bodies are simply thrown into the Ganga. In addition, the
carcasses of thousands of dead cattle, which are sacred to Hindus, go into the river each year. An inadequate cremation procedures
contributes to a large number of partially burnt or unburnt corpses floating down the Ganga.
Hundreds of corpses burn on the line of wooden pyres. Soot-covered men bustle about, raking in the still-glowing ashes,
sweeping them into the river. Gray dust from the pyres floats atop the waves, mixing with flower garlands and foam. The dust and
debris resurfaces some distance away, this time, intermixed with polythene bags, empty cans and dirty clothes. This is the holy Ganga
at its holiest spot Varanasi.
The industrial pollutants also a major source of contamination in the Ganga. A
total of 146 industries are reported to be located along the river Ganga between Rishikesh and Prayagraj. 144 of these are in Uttar
Pradesh (U.P.) and 2 in Uttrakhand. The major polluting industries on the Ganga are the leather industries, especially near Kanpur,
which use large amounts of Chromium and other toxic chemical waste, and much of it finds its way into the meager flow of the Ganga.
From the plains to the sea, pharmaceutical companies, electronics plants, textile and paper industries, tanneries, fertilizer
manufacturers and oil refineries discharge effluent into the river. This hazardous waste includes hydrochloric acid, mercury and other
heavy metals, bleaches and dyes, pesticides, and polychlorinated biphenyls highly toxic compounds that accumulate in animal and human
The tannery industry mushrooming in North India has converted
the Ganga River into a dumping ground. The tanning industry discharges different types of waste into the environment, primarily
in the form of liquid effluents containing organic matters, chromium, sulphide ammonium and other salts. According to the
information obtained from the UP State Pollution Control Board, there are 402 tanneries operating in the city Kanpur of which 65
were closed On September 17, 2010 issuing notices to 253 tanneries operating in the city, the State Pollution Control Board
has asked them to comply with central norms to curb pollution within 15 days or face consequences.
Ganga is getting polluted day-by-day. Nearly 170 factories and tanneries located between Kannauj and Varanasi, covering an area
of 450 km, were found responsible for polluting the river by discharging wastes into it without treatment. In 1996, the Supreme
Court had banned the discharge of effluents from various tanneries and factories located on its banks in Kanpur. The tanneries of
Kanpur are responsible for seven per cent pollution in the river.
However, industry is not the only source of pollution. Sheer volume of waste - estimated at nearly 1 billion litres per day - of
mostly untreated raw sewage - is a significant factor. Runoff from farms in the Ganga basin adds chemical fertilizers and
pesticides such as DDT, which is banned in the United States because of its toxic and carcinogenic effects on humans and wildlife.
Damming the river or diverting its water, mainly for irrigation purposes, also adds to the pollution crisis. Atmospheric
deposition of heavy metals emitted from vehicles and presence of industrial units adjoining the Ganges is adding to the pollution
load on the river, researchers have found on May 2010.
Illegal Mining in and around the Haridwar, boulders abutting the river are being removed for construction, causing damage to the
river's banks and bed. Tractors and trucks often just drive through the bed in the dry season. Recently the
Swami Nigamanand sacrifice to save the Ganga who was protesting
against mining in the Ganga.
Four major tributaries of the Ganga — Pilee Nadhi, Barasati
Nallah, Rawasan river and Kotawali river — on the Haridwar- Nijababad highway, only to find that they had been mercilessly
targeted by illegal miners. Hundreds of labourers could be seen filling trucks, lined up to transport a mix of sand and stone from
the shallow riverbed. “Most tributaries of the Ganga are drying because of construction of dams, and destruction of the ecology, in
upstream areas,” said Ravi Chopra, director of the Dehradun-based People’s Science Institute and member of the Prime Minister-headed
National Ganga Basin River Authority (NBGRA).
According to information provided to Parliament on March 22, 2012,
the fine collected from illegal miners of minor minerals was R115 crore in 2010-11, as compared to just R84 crore for major minerals.
Around 4,640 cases of illegal mining have been detected in Uttarakhand.
Ganga action plan
An expenditure of Rs. 896.05 crore has been incurred so far under the Ganga Action Plan for conservation
and pollution abatement of river Ganga.Discharge standards have been notified for industries under the Environment (Protection) Act,
1986. The State Pollution Control Boards/ Pollution Control Committees have been empowered under the Environment (Protection)
Act, 1986 and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 to take appropriate action against defaulting industries. The
Central Government has constituted the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) in February, 2009 as an empowered authority under
Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for conservation of the river Ganga. This information was given by the Minister of
State for Environment and Forests Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on August 30, 2011.
After two Ganga Action Plans failed to deliver the goods, seven major IITs of the country have joined hands to find ways to
clean up the national river. After perusing a report submitted by the seven IITs, namely IIT Kanpur, Mumbai, Guwahati, Delhi,
Kharagpur, Chennai and Roorkee, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has asked them June 10, 2010 to prepare a work plan for
National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) in the next 18 months.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on June 10, 2010
approved a proposal for carrying out the second phase of Ganga Action Plan worth Rs.496.90 crore with Japanese assistance at Varanasi.
The Ganga Action Plan (GAP) was initiated by the late Prime Minster Indira Gandhi, who called for a comprehensive survey of the
situation in 1979. In 1985, the government of India launched the Ganga Action Plan, which was devised to clean up the river in
selected areas by installing sewage treatment plants and threatening fines and litigation against industries that pollute.
The 2006 official audit of the Ganga Action Plan has revealed that it has met only 39 per cent of its sewage
treatment target. Moreover, the plan is behind schedule by over 13 years. According to the legal counsel, Central Pollution Control
Board, Mr Vijay Panjawani, even after spending Rs 24,000 crore, the Ganga remains dirty as ever.
A total of Rs.740.11 crore has been released to different States so far for implementation of
schemes for the river Ganga under Ganga Action Plan (GAP). The GAP Phase – I, the first attempt of the Government of India to
undertake pollution abatement works in the river Ganga, was launched in the year 1985 with the objective of treating 882 million litres
per day (mld) of sewage and improving its water quality to bathing class standards. This Phase was declared completed in March, 2000
with the creation of sewage treatment capacity of 865 mld. Since GAP Phase – I did not cover the pollution load of Ganga fully, GAP
Phase – II which includes plans for its major tributaries namely, Yamuna, Gomti, Damodar and Mahananda, besides Ganga, was approved in
stages from 1993 onwards. The above two phases of Ganga Action Plan have continued since their inception with GAP-I having been
completed in 2000 and GAP-II is presently under implementation.
A total of 146 industries are reported to be located along
the river Ganga between Rishikesh and Prayagraj. 144 of these are in Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) and 2 in Uttrakhand. Of the grossly polluting
industries in U.P., 82 industries have installed Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) and are reported to be complying with the standards,
27 industries, though have installed ETPs are not reported to be complying with the prescribed standards and 35 industries are
reported to have been closed. The Central Pollution Control Board has issued directions to the State Pollution Control Boards under
Section 18 1(b) of Water Act, 1974 for taking appropriate legal action against the defaulting industries. In the State of Uttrakhand,
of the 2 Grossly Polluting Industries, one is reported to have installed the ETP and the other is reported to have been closed. As
regards the number of drains falling into the river in the towns covered under the Ganga Action Plan and number of identified Gross
Polluting Industries which discharge their effluent in the river between Rishikesh and Prayagraj, the same is given in the Annexure.
GAP Phase-I was declared closed in March, 2000. Since GAP Phase-I did not cover the pollution load of Ganga fully, GAP
Phase II which included Plans for Yamuna, Gomti, Damodar and Mahananda besides Ganga was approved in various stages from 1993
onwards. The present sanctioned cost of works for Ganga river (main stem) under GAP Phase-II is Rs.564 crore against which an amount of
Rs.373.58 crore has been released to the State Implementing Agencies. Out of a total of 311 schemes sanctioned, 185 schemes have
been completed so far and the balance schemes are in different stages of implementation.
Ganga set to vanish near its source
There would be no water in large stretches of the famed Alaknanda and Bhagirathi
riverbeds if the Uttarakhand government goes ahead with its plan to build 53 power projects on these two rivers which join at Dev Prayag
to form the Ganga, the Comptroller and Auditor General has said on April 1, 2010.
A CAG inspection report submitted to the Uttarakhand
governor says that already the riverbed is completely dry at Shrinagar (Garhwal) and what flows downstream is the water released
by a power plant from its tunnel and those diverted from tributaries. If all projects are allowed to go through, the aquatic
life and biodiversity of the river basin will be virtually erased. Sources said the report also expresses fear that all villages
settled along the river basin will be uprooted once the rivers go dry, leading to mass migration and cultural erosion.
The CAG comes down hard on the state government whose power
policy of 2006 allows a private player to divert up to 90% of the river water to power turbines, leaving only 10% to flow in the
natural course of the river.
According a news published in INDIA TODAY on February 1, 2010,
a plan to produce electricity in the Himalayas to ease the power situation in the plains could make the Ganga disappear in the valley
of its origin. The river will remain tunnelled continuously for a distance of 130 km up to Dharasu near Uttarkashi
In all, 12 large and medium hydroelectric projects are either functioning, are under construction or have been proposed
between Gangotri and Haridwar. Ecologists and local groups have warned that if all the projects are
executed, there will be no free- flowing water for about 250 km of India most holy river. The construction work has been suspended in three out of
eight hydro-electric projects on river Bhagirathi in Uttarakhand, the government told the Rajya Sabha on April 26, 2010. The
third big dam on the Bhagirathi river — 600 MW Loharinag Pala can be shut down after taking due care, a technical committee set up
by the environment and forests ministry has concluded on June 24, 2010.
Within a month of approving the 600 MW Loharinag Pala dam on
Uttarakhand, a group of ministers on August 20, 2010 scrapped the National Thermal Power Corporation project following
intervention by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The GoM headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had approved the project in July
on the ground that NTPC had already spent Rs 600 crore and ordered equipment worth Rs 2,000 for the project. A large number of
religious organisations and former IIT professor G.D. Aggarwal
a new rishi to save Ganga asked Singh to review the decision. Aggarwal was on his third fast
unto death against the decision in Dehradun. Uttarakhand State has planned to build 300 small and large dams on various tributaries
of the Ganga to tap the hydro power potential of the State.
Pandit Veer Bhadra Mishra, eminent environmentalist, member of
National Ganga River Basin Authority, and the founder-president of Sankat Mochan Foundation, was on Thursday
cremated along the river that he fought all his life for to conserve and save from degradation.
Ganga Nitya Vaahini
Swami Nigamanand sacrifice to save the Ganga
A 34-year-old ascetic, Swami Nigamananda , died here after
fasting for two and a half months to save the river Ganga from pollution. Nigamananda died on June 14, 2011.
In Kumbh Mela 2013 devotees opt for bottled water
The age-old Sanskrit shloka, Gange tav darshnarth mukti (mere sight of
the Ganga washes away all sins), is drawing millions to the Kumbh, but sadhus as well as devotees and visitors are steering clear of the holy
waters to quench their thirst. The human congregation in this land of the Sangam — the confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and
the mythical Saraswati — is relying on bottled water and modern-day purifiers.
Polluted Ganges A Major Source Of Cancer In India
Traces of heavy metals and mercury has been detected in the river water
says a survey compiled by the National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRG) supported by the Indian Council of Medical Research. It has resulted in
the largest number of gall bladder cancer cases worldwide, especially among the Indian population settled on the river plains.
As per the survey done in Bihar, UP and West Bengal by the NCRG it
shows that in every 10,000 people reported 450 men and 1000 women suffer with gall bladder cancer.
Save ancient Dhari Devi shrine
On July 7, 2012 BJP leaders LK Advani , president Nitin Gadkari and others seeking PM Manmohan Singh's intervention in saving the
ancient Dhari Devi shrine, said to be facing threat of submergence due to the Srinagar hydroelectric project.
Hunger strike to prevent hydel power projects on Ganga tributaries
The efforts of the Uttarakhand government to make the state surplus in power, so that it could sell the excess power and
generate some money for its cash starved coffers received a setback with Prof G D Aggarwal G D Agarwal a new rishi to save the Ganga)
, who has now assumed the name of Swami Gyanswaroopanand declaring that the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi
rivers as also the Ganga will be kept free of hyro-electric projects.
Ganga to get world heritage site
Many organisations have been requesting the State and Central Governments to prepare a scientific report on the basis of which the Ganga can be declared a world heritage site.
The UPA Government at the Centre and Congress Government of Uttarakhand should get together and prepare a comprehensive plan to make a
scientific report on the basis of which the Ganga, from Gaumukh to Haridwar, can be declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
River Rafting on the Ganga river
The river Ganges has always been a full of adventures for the rafters. Ganga river near Rishikesh in Uttaranchal is
now a famous locale for river rafting. The river rafting stretch of 36 Kms between Kaudiyala and Rishikesh, has 12 major rapids, which needs
expertise. The rafting is advisable to only those people who are healthy and have no any fear of water.
The Ganga is mentioned in the Rig-Veda, the earliest of the Hindu scriptures.
The Ganga is mentioned in the nadistuti (Rig Veda 10.75), which lists the rivers from east to west. In RV 6.45.31, the word Ganga is also mentioned, but it is
not clear if the reference is to the river. RV 3.58.6 says that "your ancient home, your auspicious friendship, O Heroes,
your wealth is on the banks of the Jahnavi (JahnAvyAm)". This verse could
possibly refer to the Ganga. In RV 1.116.18-19, the Jahnavi and the Gangetic dolphin occur in two adjacent verses.
During the early Indo-Aryan Ages, the Indus and the Saraswati were the major rivers, not the Ganga. But the later three Vedas seem to give much more
importance to the Ganga, as shown by its numerous references. According to the Hindu Purans, Goddess Ganga used to exist only in Heaven. Then
prince Bhagirath worshipped Ganga to descend on earth. This is why Ganga is also known as Bhagirathi. In the Mahabharath this story is also mentioned. In fact,
Ganga is a major character in the Mahabharath, where she is the mother of Bhisma.
Another version of the myth tells us that Ganga descended to earth to
purify the souls of the 60,000 sons of an ancient ruler, King Sagara, who had been burnt to ashes by an enraged ascetic.
Ganga in Hindu religion
According to Hindus the river Ganga is sacred. It is worshipped by Hindus and personified as a goddess, who holds an
important place in the Hindu religion. Hindu belief holds that bathing in the river on certain occasions causes the forgiveness of sins and helps attain
salvation. Many people believe that this will come from bathing in Ganga at any time. People travel from distant places to immerse the ashes of their kin in the
waters of the Ganga; this immersion also is believed to send the ashes to heaven. Several places sacred to Hindus lie along the banks of the river
Ganga, including Haridwar and Kashi. People carry sacred water from the Ganges that is sealed in copper pots after making the pilgrimage to Kashi. It is believed that drinking
water from the Ganga with ones last breath will take the soul to heaven. Hindus also believe life is incomplete without bathing in the Ganga at least once in their lifetime.
In most Hindu families, a vial of water from the Ganga is kept in every house. This is done because it is auspicious to have water of the Holy Ganga in the
house, and also if someone is dying, that person will be able to drink its water. Many Hindus believe that the water from the Ganga can cleanse a persons soul of
all past sins, and that it can also cure the ill. The ancient scriptures mention that the water of Ganga carries the blessings of the Lords feet. Hence mother
Ganga is also known as Visnupadi (Emanating from the Lotus feet of Supreme Lord Sri Visnu). Some of the most important Hindu festivals and religious congregations are
celebrated on the banks of the river Ganga such as the Kumbh Mela or the Kumbh Fair and the Chhat Puja.
Around 70 million Hindus from around the world participated in Kumbh Mela at the Hindu
Holy city Prayaga (also known as Allahabad). The most important city sacred to Hinduism on the banks of the River Ganga is Varanasi or Banaras. It
has hundreds of temples along the banks of the Ganga often get flooded during the rains.This city, along the banks of the Ganga, is an
important place of worship for the Hindus as well as a cremation ground.
Chhath an ancient
Hindu festival dedicated to the worship of the Lord Sun (सूर्य)
is mainly celebrated in northeast region of India in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, some parts of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand on the banks of Ganga
This year on November 12, 2010 Chath Puja the urban populace prefer to visit other water bodies like ponds or lakes or remain confined to their homes for
performing the Chhath rituals as river Ganga has shifted away at different ghats and its water stands highly contaminated.
Rafting expedition in river |
Troops of ITBP, which guards India's frontiers with China, on June 20, 2012
successfully charted their two-month long rafting expedition in river Ganga, traversing 2,500 km on water from Gangotri to Ganga Sagar.
Lord Shiva (शिव)
A sea of humanity offered “arghya” to the Sun God on Chhath festival.
The most controversial Tehri dam is the main dam of the Tehri Hydro Project on the rivers Bhagirathi (one of the major tributary of the river
Ganga) located near Tehri in Uttarakhand. It is a multi purpose river valley project, towering 855 feet (261 m). The main dam at Tehri is the 8th tallest dam in the
world. The dams projected capabilities include a power generation capacity of 2400 MW,
irrigation stabilization to an area of 6,000 km², an additional area of 2,700 km² of irrigation stabilization and a supply of 270 million gallons (1.23
million cubic metres) of drinking water to industrialized cities in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The dam project was approved in 1972 and construction was started in 1978.
The dam is operational since July 2006. Until March 2008, a sum of Rs 8,298 crore had been spent on the dam,
far outweighing the initial planned costs. Its projected power generating capacity was 2,400 MW. Currently, it is generating only 1,000 MW, less than half its capacity.
According to Hindu mythology, river Bhagirathi is the actual Ganga, though the name of Ganga is assumed only after
the river Bhagirathi meets river Alaknanda at Devprayag. Cutting off the water
supply of Bhagirathi to such low quantity means that after travelling more than 80 km from this point, water of Bhagirathi will be hardly reaching
Ganga. It is predicted that after 20 years the mighty Ganga will be reduced to a trickle and cease to exist for the 150 million people in this region.
The Tehri dam is located in the Central Himalayan Seismic Gap, a major geologic fault zone. This region was the
site of a magnitude 6.8 earthquake in October 1991, epicenter 50 km from the location of the dam.
Kumbh Mela (कुम्भ मेला)
the largest religious gathering on earth, is held every 12 years on the banks of the Triveni Sangam - the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and
Saraswati. The Mela alternates between Nasik, Allahabad, Ujjain and Haridwar every three years. The one celebrated at the Holy Sangam in
Allahabad is the largest and holiest of them. The Mela is attended by millions of devotees, including Sadhus. A holy dip in the sacred waters is believed to cleanse the soul.
Some Hollywood celebrities participated in the Haridwar Kumbh Mela, termed as
the biggest spiritual gathering on eart h, in India during January- April in 2010. This year Kumbh Mela begins from January 14,
2010 to April 28, 2010 includes 11 bathing d ates in between, at Haridwar, where fast-flowing Ganga enters the plains from Himalayan. Nearly 80 million people
bathed along the 15-kilometre (nine-mile) stretch of the river Ganges in Haridwar during the Kumbh Mela festival that lasted 104 days, organisers said on
April 29, 2010 as the event drew to a close. Nearly 1.45-crore pilgrims took a dip in the Ganga on April 14, 2010, the day of
Baisakhi only.The Ardh or 'half Kumbh' Mela, is held every six years on the banks of Sangam.
Tehri is the world’s 8th tallest dam. Until March 2008, a sum of Rs 8,298 crore had been spent on the dam, far
outweighing the initial planned costs. Its projected power generating capacity was 2,400 MW. Currently, it is generating only 1,000 MW, less than half its capacity. Until March 2008,
a sum of Rs 8,298 crore had been spent on the dam.
Govt study seeks review of 24 planned hydro projects on Ganga
Citing possible adverse impact on biodiversity, a government study has suggested a review of 24 proposed hydro power plants in Uttarakhand that
together have a capacity of over 2,600 MW on June 1, 2012. The study was conducted by the
Wildlife Institute of India (WII) on behalf of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. All the
projects are on the Ganga river.
Stating that 24 proposed projects need to be re-apprised, the study said
they have the potential to significantly and cumulatively reduce the aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity values of the sub-basins.
According to the study, the 24 hydro electric projects would affect a
river length of 2,44,572 metres.
The flora and fauna found along Ganga banks are vital to nutrient and water conservation, and control of soil erosion.
451 million people living in its basin are directly and indirectly dependent upon the Ganga.
Watered by the monsoons, this silt-enriched land produces a significant portion of the rice, wheat, millet, sugar, and barley needed to feed the
world's second most populous nation. The rain feds the land, dilutes the river's muddy stream, flushes out excess sediment and suspended matter, and revitalizes the river where its flow was sluggish.
The Ganges and its tributaries provide a perennial source of irrigation to a large area. The Ganges can swell a thousand-fold during the monsoons.
Haridwar, Allahabad, and Varanasi are the the source of tourism and
attract thousands of pilgrims to its waters. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims arrive at these three towns to take a dip in the Ganges, which is believed to cleanse oneself of sins and help attain salvation.
The Ganga has been described by the World Wildlife Fund as one of the world’s top ten rivers at risk.
It has over 140 fish species, 90 amphibian species, and five areas which support birds found nowhere else in the world.
According to studies reported by environmental engineer D.S. Bhargava of the University of Roorkee, the Ganges decomposes organic waste 15 to 25 times faster than other rivers.
The Ganges has an extraordinarily high rate of reaeration, the process by which it absorbs atmospheric oxygen. When organic waste is dropped into it, as much as 60 per cent of the BOD is processed within an hour. The water quality samples also
suggest that the Ganges retains DO much longer than does water from other rivers.
In a recent finding, the scientists have observed that various species of fishes which helped in keeping the river water clean are facing extinction. In its
place, numerous marine species are thriving in the river. Marine species like Sea Bass, Rostellascaris, Xenentodon Cancilla, Clarius
Gariepinus or Thai Magur have been found in the fresh water of Ganga in Allahabad and its surrounding districts.
Gangetic dolphins were once found in abundance in the river Ganges. But over the years a steady increase in pollution in the river has dwindled the population of Dolphins.
River Dolphin declared as National Aquatic Animal and on January 19, 2010, Ministry of
Environment and Forests included in the Schedule I for the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Gangetic dolphins are in grave
danger with their population declining at a rate of 10 percent annually. Industrial discharges, sewage, pesticides and the rotting remains of dead bodies
have increased pollution levels in the River Ganges over the years despite government promises to clean-up the holy river.
M Omair from the University of Michigan in the US has collected zooplankton
samples from Haridwar, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, and Kolkata. He found that many of the zooplanktons that are eaten by the small fish have
tumours. The small fish are in turn eaten by the bigger fish and so on, so the ill zooplanktons are getting into the entire food chain,
including humans who eat fish from the river. "It is a bad sign for the environmental health of the Ganga," Omair said.
Ganga river is rapidly shrinking
The Ganga is one of the world’s most rapidly shrinking rivers, a recent study of 900 rivers in the world has found. One of
India’s most culturally and economically important rivers is among 45 in the
study that showed a statistically significant reduction in discharge to the ocean. In 2004, the Ganga had 20 per cent less water than it did 56 years
earlier, the study, conducted by the National Centre for Atmosphere Research in Colorado in the US, concluded. This centre belongs to the University Corporation
of Atmospheric Research.
The bed of the holy Ganga has turned into a playground for the
cricket lovers. It sounds strange but it is a fact that the sacred river has shrunk and gone away from the ghats. This has made visible the sand
bed over which the river used to flow till sometime ago.
Idol immersion in Ganga
The annual ritual of immersing idols of Goddess Durga
and other Hindu deities in the Ganga river has threaten the survival of the endangered river dolphin and other aquatic creatures
but also increases pollution in the already polluted river. Thousands of idols were immersed in the Ganga in Kolkata, Patna and
other cites situated on the banks of river last year to mark the end of the Durga Puja festival.
Concerned over alarming pollution level in the Ganges river, the Allahabad High Court on October 20, 2010 asked Uttar Pradesh government to issue a
notification banning the use of polythene in the vicinity of the river. Passing the order, a Division Bench comprising Justice Ashok
Bhushan and Justice Arun Tandon asked the government to file an affidavit, apprising the court of the compliance of the order, on
October 25 next.
The Calcutta High Court on October 5, 2010 directed that the guideline framed by the West
Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) will have to be followed for cleaning up the river Ganga after immersion of idols. The court also
said that it was the duty of Kolkata Port Trust (KPT) and concerned municipalities to clean the river after idols immersion.
Swiss route to knowing Ganga
Swiss nationals Elisabeth Gusdek and Ani Leidner are part of a project
dedicated to bringing the Holy river to the world. The two women say it is their love for one of India's holiest rivers,
Ganga, that has brought them together. Now, both Ani and Elisabeth are working together on a project
supported by the Swiss Government on River Ganga.
Rivers are important for all civilisations and the project would be focusing on
that.The duo, by interacting with people living in places located along the holy
river, will be bringing forth how the river is very important in their lives .
Bengal's favourite Hilsa
Bengal's favourite Hilsa is becoming dearer in Kolkata. reason the depth of
the Ganga has reduced due to pollution, making it difficult for Hilsa to enter the river from the sea to lay eggs.
Saving Gangetic dolphins
A three-day awareness programme about the Ganges river dolphin,
conducted by WWF-India in partnership with the UP state forest department, ended on October 7, 2012.
The programme included a survey of dolphins across a 3,000-km stretch of
the Ganges and its key tributaries including the Yamuna, Son, Ken, Betwa, Ghagra and Geruwa. The number of dolphins in the Ganges has declined to about 1,600, from nearly 5,000 in 1982.
Ganga delta and Ganga in sea
The delta of the Ganga, or rather, that of the Hooghly and the Padma, is a vast ragged swamp forest (42,000 sq km) called the
Sundarbans the world’s largest delta , home of the Royal
Bengal Tiger. The river courses in the delta are broad and active, carrying a vast amount of water. On the seaward side of the delta are swamplands and tidal forests called
Sunderbans which are protected conservation areas in both Indian and Bangladeshi law. The peat found in the delta is used for fertilizer and
fuel. The water supply to the river depends on the rains brought by the monsoon winds from July to October and the melting snow from the Himalayas during the period from April to June.
The delta also experiences strong cyclonic storms before and after the monsoon season which can be devastating.
The delta used to be densely forested and inhabited by many wild animals. Today, however, it has
become intensely cultivated to meet the needs of the growing population and many of the wild animals have disappeared. The
Royal Bengal Tiger still lives in the Sunderbans and kills about 30 villagers every year. There remains high fish populations
in the rivers which provides an important part of the inhabitants' diet. Bird life in the Ganges basin is also prolific.
Ganga in Kolkata
The main branch of the Ganga, the Padma, passes through the Farraka Barrage, a gigantic barrier
designed to divert the Ganga waters into the Hooghly branch, and away from the Padma. Completed by the Indian
government in the early 1970s, it was intended to help flush out the increasing silt deposits in the Hooghly, to improve navigation, and to provide
Kolkata with irrigation and drinking water.
About 150 large industrial plants are lined up on the banks of the
Hooghly River around Kolkata.
Together, these plants contribute 30 percent of the total industrial effluent reaching the mouths of the
Ganga. Of this, half comes from pulp and paper industries, which discharge a dark brown, oxygen-craving slurry of bark and wood fiber, mercury and other heavy
metals which accumulate in fish tissues, and chemical toxins like bleaches and dyes, which produce dioxin and other persistent compounds.
CNN-IBN-Outlook State of the Environment Poll has found that 77 per cent people have voted cleaning of rivers by government as
the top priority. The findings are especially significant in Kolkata as its main river Hooghly is congested with solid waste and
effluents. It is said that the character of a city is best judged by how well it maintains its sea or river front.
Kosi River - The Sorrow of Bihar
The River Kosi ( कोसी नदी) also called the sorrow of Bihar is one of the largest
tributaries of river Ganga. After flowing 58 km in Nepal, it enters the north Bihar plains near Bhimnagar and after another 260
km , flows into the Ganges near Kursela. The river travels a distance of 729 km from its source to the confluence with the Ganga. Due
the current floods in Kosi river, the situation in Bihar is the worst witnessed for hundreds of years.
Now Ganga threatened by Expressway
The UP state government selected a developer for the ambitious Rs 30,000- crore Ganga Expressway
project. Financial bids from five companies for developing the 1,047-km project, linking Noida and Ballia, have been allotted
by state Industrial Development Commissioner. The expressway promises to reduce travel time from Ballia to Noida to about 10 hours.
On May 29, 2009: the Allahabad High Court stayed the Ganga Express Highway Project. The ambitious project is aimed at linking
Noida to Ballia in Uttar Pradesh by constructing eight lane 1047 kilometer long road, which would pass through 19 districts along the
bank of river Ganga.Jaiprakash Associates were allotted contract for the prestigious Rs 30,000-crore Ganga Expressway project.
Ganga and groundwater contamination
While pollution level in the holy Ganga is becoming a grave concern for scientists of the country, threat of groundwater contamination
is also looming even larger than anticipated and calling for urgent measures for its mitigation.
The two-day workshop on 'Ganga and groundwater contamination and its mitigation', organised by the the state unit office of the Central
The presence of arsenic has been detected in and around groundwa-ter sources in the state s five towns based along the banks of
the Ganga as well as around 1,590 villages spread over 13 districts in the Gangetic basin of the state on February 11, 2011.
The towns where the sources of drinking water have yielded arsenic con-tamination are Buxar, Sultanganj, Nathnagar and Kahalgaon on the
south-ern bank of the Ganga and Begusarai located on the river s northern bank.
The 13 Bihar districts where villages in the Gangetic basin or close to it have yielded arsenic content in drinking water include Buxar, Bhojpur,
Patna, Lakhisarai, Munger, Bhagalpur, Katihar, Begusarai, Samastipur, Vaishali and Saran. The
arsenic content has also been found in some vil-lages lying in the basin of Burhi Gandak in Darbhanga district.
Ganges River Delta is the world's largest
delta called Sundarbans empties into the Bay of Bengal. It is also one of the most
fertile regions in the world, also called The Green Delta.
Kolkata as its main river Hooghly is congested with solid waste and effluents. It is said
that the character of a city is best judged by how well it maintains its sea or river front
34 dams on Alaknanda and Bhagirathi
. A report commissioned by the government in April 2012 has recommended that 34 dams on
the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers - the two main tributaries of the Ganga -should not be allowed to come up as they will cause irrevocable
harm to biodiversity in Uttarakhand.
Kanpur's leather industry a bane for the Ganga
A cocktail of chemicals is being dumped into the river Ganga in
Kanpur. What is even worse is that Rs 900 crore of the Ganga Action Plan have simply gone down the drain. In the
historic city of Kanpur, a thriving leather industry is central to the crisis facing the Ganga. Rakesh Jaiswal, an eco-crusader, explains, "This is a failure of the
Ganga Action Plan. The water that should reach the treatment plant, reaches the Ganga straight. The government is responsible for this."
Ganga threatened by climate change
The Ganga is also one of the rivers most threatened by climate change. According to a report by the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (The UN Climate Change Conference in Bali)
looking at the threat from climate change to human development and the environment, “only the polar icecaps hold more fresh water than the Himalayan glaciers”: “If the
current trends of climate change continue, by 2030 the size of the glaciers could be reduced by as much as 80 per cent,”
warns the report, titled “Up in Smoke -- Asia and the Pacific”, released here in November 2007.
Some of India’s most important rivers are fed by the Himalayan glaciers. But rising temperatures means that many of the Himalayan glaciers are melting
fast due to Global Warming and could diminish significantly over the coming
decades with catastrophic results. In the long run, the water flow in the Ganges could drop by two-thirds, affecting more than 400 million people who depend on it for drinking water.
The report warns that in the short term the rapid melting of ice high up in the Himalayas might cause river swelling and floods.
The formation of glacial lakes of melt-water creates the threat of outburst floods leading to devastation in lowland valleys.
Himalayan glaciers are already in retreat. Their dependence on glacier runoff makes
downstream populations particularly vulnerable to the consequences, says Koko Warner of the UN Universitys Institute for Environment and Human Security.
The Ganga irrigates 17.9 million hectares in northern India. "The potential for migration out of irrigated areas could be significant," Ms. Warner added.
Ganga a national heritage
On September 22, 2008 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured giving river Ganga a national
heritage status, a statement by the Hardwar-based Ganga Raksha Manch said. The prime minister pledged to revive the glory of the river and
look into the issue of pollution in the river along its stretch from upper reaches in Hardwar to Ganga Sagar in the Bay of Bengal. In a boost to the Ganga cleaning programme, the government has
cleared projects worth Rs 1,394.11 crore for the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttarakhand on March 6, 2010..
The first PM of India Pandit Jawaharla Nehru said: "The
Ganga especially is the river of India age-long culture and civilization, ever changing, ever flowing, and yet ever the same Ganga."
Ganga is both goddess and river. The name of Ganga appears twice in the Rig Veda, references in Puranas, Valmiki Ramayana,
Devi Bhagavatam, Mahabharata and Hindu religious Granthas as mother Ganga. .
In other parts of the world great rivers have been referred to as
mothers. Volga is Mat Rodanya that is Mother of land. Irelands river Boyne is worshiped as a goddess, The Thai river is Mae-nau taht is
Water Mother. In ancient Egypt the Nile was considered as the tears of Goddess Isis.
The Ganga at Varanasi
Varanasi (वाराणसी) also known as Benares or Kashi (काशी) situated on the banks of the River
Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, regarded as most holy place by Hindus, Buddhists, and
Jains. It is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, believed to be about 3,000 years old..Varanasi
is referred as "the city of temples", "the holy city of India", "the religious capital of India", "the city
of lights", and "the city of learning." The importance of Varanasi is closely associated with the River Ganga.and has many temples along its
banks. Hindus believe that bathing in Ganga remits sins and that dying in Kashi ensures
release of a persons soul from the cycle of its transmigrations. Varanasi is one of the holiest places in Buddhism too, being one of the four
pilgrimage sites said to have been designated by Gautama Buddha
More than 1,000,000 pilgrims visit the city each year. It
has the holy shrine of Kashi Vishwanath (a manifestation of Lord Shiva), and also one of the twelve revered Jyotirlingas of
Lord Shiva (शिव). Varanasi has nearly 100 ghats,
most of them are bathing ghats, while others are used as cremation sites. Varanasi is famous by its
Jantar Mantar , Archaeological museum, Bharat Kala Bhavan, The New Vishwanath Temple, Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat,
Banaras Hindu University and Banarasi Silk.
. A recent study by the Ganga Lab and River Ecosystem Environment Management and
Training Centre at the Benaras Hindu University (BHU) has found that "the quantity of (original) Ganga jal could in fact be less than 1 per cent in
Varanasi" . The reason. First, there are dams and barrages on the way. These trap the river and divert the waters. The next assault comes in the form of
toxic substances dumped in the river as it flows through Uttar Pradesh. The end result is that the Ganga, as it enters Varanasi, flows more in faith than in
reality. The government has spent Rs 36,448 crore on cleaning the Ganga, yet at Varanasi
the river is little more than a deadly cocktail of groundwater, sewage discharge and spillage from tributaries like the Yamuna and the Betwa — hardly the sacred
Ganga jal that, many believe, has the powers to wash away the sins of mankind, 50 lakh of whom visit this town every year for the holy dip.
The Ganga at Allahabad
Sangam at Allahabad the holy confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical
Saraswati revered by millions and the site for historic Mahakumbh held once every 12 years- seems to be under threat.
With the ongoing Magh Mela, thousands are taking a dip into the Ganga to rid themselves of sins.
But, the fact is that the river water has become toxic and unfit for bathing. The untreated water from various nullahs in the city is flowing into the
Ganga, thus polluting the river water. Besides, the ever-increasing human settlements in Kachar (catchment area of river) area have added to the burden of the river.
About 287 million litres of sewage flow into the Ganga in Allahabad only, 400 million litres of sewage in Kanpur and 300 million litres go into it in Varanasi.
Mission Clean Ganga
April 18, 2013: World bank team sanctions funds for sewerage work
April 4, 2013: Save Ganga activists to launch yatra from Friday, the 6th April 2013
March 15, 2013: Pandit Veer Bhadra Mishra, eminent environmentalist, member of
National Ganga River Basin Authority, and the founder-president of Sankat Mochan Foundation, was cremated along the river on March 15.
February 16, 2013: Free Ganga from dams to save it, said vice-chancellor of Maharshi Visvavidyalaya, West Indies, Swami Brahmaswaroopji Maharaj
January 26, 2013: Pilgrims from 54 countries participate in Paryavaran parade at Mahakumbh
January 19, 2013: Save Ganga: Seers threaten to boycott next big Kumbh "snan" in Ganga river
January 14, 2013: More than 82 lakh pilgrims, led by sadhus, streamed into the Sangam in Kumbh Mela 2013
December 25, 2012: Swami Nigamanand's guru starts Ganga fast
December 9, 2012: BHU extracts low-cost, efficient enzyme to clean Ganga
November 25, 2012: Dwaraka Shankaracharya demands law to preserve Ganga
November 20: 2012: Stampede during Chhath in Patna at Ganga ghat; 17 killed
November 3, 2012: Religious heads to discuss bill on Ganga
September 21, 2012: Uma Bharti kicks off 'Ganga Samagra Yatra'
September 15, 2012: Demand for national heritage status to Ganga
September 8, 2012: BJP to launch Ganga yatra from 21 September
September 2, 3012: Muslim clerics join Hindu seers in campaign to save Ganga
August 27, 2012: Bengal government organises Save Ganga campaign
August 8, 2012: No new hydel projects on river Ganga to be allowed, says Jayanthi Natarajan
August 6, 2012: India is all set to get a unique "Ganga anthem" soon. Music director AR
Rahman is in the process of setting the score for this song dedicated to the holy river. Kailash Kher will be singing the anthem, which is to be
released during the maha kumbh at Allahabad in January next year.
June 26, 2012: Government sets up panel to review power projects on Ganga
June 12, 2012: Over 1008 priests delivered religious discourse on the
banks of the Ganges to spread awareness among the masses about restoring the sanctity of the river.
June 12, 2012: 'Ganga Mukti Sangram' will be started today under the guidance and
leadership of Swami Swarupanand along with the participation of priests of all religions.
June 6, 2012: On the World Environment Day, CNN-IBN focuses on 'Saving the
Ganga', a 45-day campaign that highlights how the sacred river is dying despite thousands of crores of rupees being spent to save it. CNN-IBN's
special report shows how dams and pollution are killing the river in every state it passes through.
May 22, 2012: The seers congregated at the Ganga Mukti Mahasammelan plan 'Delhi march' to save Ganga
and displayed their determination to continue their struggle until the holy river becomes free from pollution.
May 11, 2012: A public awareness and boat rally was taken out for making the
Ganga pollution free by members of Dev Deepawali Samiti, in collaboration with Bal Yogi Arun Shree Maharaj and Mahant
Ramesh Puri on Thursday.
May 6, 2012: Environmental activist G D Aggarwal has gone on a hunger strike to save
the Ganga in Varanasi has once again been forcefully admitted to hospital on May 6, 2012 .
March 14, 2012: G D Agarwal a new rishi to save the Ganga , a retired professor of IIT Kanpur who recently 'embraced sanyas' and took the
name 'Swami Gyan Swarup Sanand'. Agrawal has been on fast since January 14 at Varanasi protesting against the continued pollution of
Ganga. He left taking even water from 9th March 2012
November 21, 2011: Shankaracharya of Jyotish Pith and Dwarka Sharda Pith Swami
Swaroopanand Saraswati, who founded Ganga Seva Abhiyanam (GSA), and the members of National River Ganga Basin Authority (NRGBA) are seeking
effective measures from the Centre and the state government to save the holy Ganga river. In the presence of Swami Swaroopanand, the Ganga Seva Abhiyanam, a
campaign initiated by his disciples, hosted a two-day meeting at Shri Vidya Muth here on Saturday and Sunday.
September 19, 2011: The Banaras Hindu University
(BHU) is going to play a major role in coordinating research projects on the Ganga pollution control and river basin management under joint
collaboration of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
September 15, 2011: An Allahabad lawyer Arun Kumar Gupta has taken up cudgels on behalf of the Ganga and his
pleadings in the court may have helped in the fight for river's existence as well as from getting further polluted.
September 6, 2011:
Conservationists and scientists would be in the Sangam city to participate in the meet called 'Ganga Sammelan' on September 23 and 24, 2011.
The call for the meet has been given by Jal Biradari, a body of river conservationists headed by Magsaysay award winner Rajendra Singh.
June 14, 2011: The saint Nigamananda
was fasting for the Ganga since the last many days. He laid down his life for the Ganga. In his lifetime,
Countrys first state of the art Ganga gallery inaugurated at the National Academy of Sciences India (NASI)
on April 15, 2011. The council of NASI has decided to adopt ways to make the people aware
about the conservation and restoration of the river Ganga by establishing a Ganga gallery, using a scientific approach in order to
highlight the religious, cultural, socio- economic and scientific aspects of the river.
January 16, 2011:
Shankaracharya Swami Vasudevanand Saraswati asked the common man to come forward to safeguard the sanatan
dharma. Lauding the efforts of Maa Ganga Pradooshan Mukti Abhiyan Samiti, he said that the holy Ganga is life generating stream with which sentiments
of millions across the globe are attached.
October 23, 2010: The
World Bank has agreed to provide $1 billion for the Mission Clean Ganga being implemented by the National Ganga River Basin Authority
(NGRBA) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for restoring the "wholesomeness" of the river system by minimising its
pollution level, the Centre has informed the Supreme Court.
Fight for Ganga continues from Kashi to Pune
While people associated with the
Ganga Seva Abhiyanam are continuing with their battle in Varanasi to save the holy river through
austerity, it would also be pertinent to highlight the Save Ganga Movement by Pune-based National Women Organisation
(NWO). NGRBA expert members,Prof BD Tripathi and another NGRBA member and Magsaysay awardee
Rajendra Singh is busy in preparations for the Ganga Mukti Mahasangram
Sammelan going to be held in Varanasi on May 21, 2012.
A 10-day cruise on Kolkata-Varanasi route in the Ganga was launched in 2009 to attract foreign tourists. About 500km of the total
800km stretch of the cruise passes through various tourist places of Bihar, including Bhagalpur, Munger, Patna and Buxar. Tourists have the
opportunity to visit all the sightseeing places, including Munger Yoga Ashram, ancient Vikramshila University, Dolphin Sanctuary, ancient Nalanda
Mahavihara, Rajgir, Bodh Gaya and Patna, during the cruise..
Jairam Ramesh tells Uttarakhand CM to stop illegal mining in Ganga
June 18, 2011: Former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has asked the Uttarakhand
government to take action to stop illegal river bed mining in Ganga, particularly around Haridwar. This latest missive comes on the heels of
the Swami Nigamanand sacrifice to save the Ganga who was protesting against mining in the Ganga.
Gandhi Setu bridge on Ganga in Patna in a bad shape
*Conceding that the worlds longest 5.4 km river brige on Ganga linking Patna and Hajipur was in a bad shape, the Bihar government on March 4, 2011
alleged the Centre was not cooperating for comprehensive repair of the bridge.*
Ganga Aarti in Patna
'Ganga Aarti' in Patna has become very popular among the
Patnaites as well as visiting tourists within a very short span of time. Organized by Bihar Tourism, it takes place at sunset every Saturday and
Sunday at Gandhi ghat near NIT campus. The 'aarti' is performed on a stage by a group of young pandits, all draped in saffron
robes, with their puja plates spread out before them.
The Gomti river a tributary of Ganga is reeling under the bane of pollution and
encroachment, has its flow reduced to one-third and is in an urgent need of revival.