Research Theme Enhancing Sustainable Agriculture Discharge of untreated sewage and fecal sludge into the Ganga is considered one of the major threats to the health of the river. Numerous small and medium cities along the Ganges River and its tributaries strongly contribute to water pollution because sanitation and treatment coverage is very poor in these cities. Innovative sanitation options that not only collect and treat waste, but also reuse it, may contribute to the solution.
Tweet Chandannagar, a former French colony, sits on a moon crest bend of the Hooghly, a distributary of the Ganga River in West Bengal. But the pleasant environment belies its larger shortcomings.
Just north of Kolkata, this is one of the most polluted stretches of the Ganga, but receives less attention than the iconic ghats of Varanasi Human waste in ganga the toxic tanneries of Kanpur.
In reality, the situation is even more dire: From the glaciers of the Himalayas the river flows over 2, kilometres through the plains of India into the Bay of Bengal, collecting the toxic waste from the half billion of people who rely on the river, to become one of the most polluted rivers in the world.
The rest comes from industrial heavy metals, pesticides from agriculture, solid waste, human bodies and animal carcasses.
The problem is more widespread. A July report from CPCB shows unacceptable levels of faecal coliform all along the Ganga, even in the relatively clean water of the Upper Ganga where Hindu pilgrims visit holy sites such as Rishikesh and Haridwar.
In the past, the central government funded all the costs of setting up and running effluent treatment plants along the Ganga. West Bengal has closed down 95 heavily polluting industries — along with the 94 shut down in Uttar Pradesh — but that has made little difference.
Sand miners shovel away large chunks from both banks and pump it up from the riverbed, while officials bicker over how much of their activities are legal or illegal, who is supposed to lay down the law, who should implement it. Three decades of government action plans and billions of dollars of investment later, the Ganga is getting dirtier.
The plan was to divert all drains spewing wastewater into the river to sewerage treatment plants, treat and then reuse the water. The first phase focused on stretches of the main river, the second phase extended its reach to the tributaries including the Yamuna that flows through Delhi.
A revamped plan in sought to embrace the entire river system. Brick kilns along the banks of the Ganga use the soil from the river banks and add to erosion Wrong approach The focus on industry and sewerage treatment plants STPs has been misguided, says Rudra.
Existing treatment plants do not have the advanced technology required to remove faecal coliform. Conventional technologies built under river action plans funded by the Centre since the mids serve primarily to meet standards for biological oxygen demand and suspended solids produced by agriculture and industryrather than faecal matter for sewerage.
Lack of flow But the deeper problem is the dwindling flow of the Ganga, says Rudra. This year historically low river levels forced the Farakka coal-powered power station in West Bengal to shut down after the boats carrying coal were grounded coming up the river.
Pumping of groundwater for agriculture across the basin has also reduced the amount of water percolating into the river bed from below. And the Gangotri glacier at the headwaters of the river in Uttarakhand is retreating 20 metres per year, further weakening the flow.
The latest version of the Ganga action plan merely plays lip service to maintaining water flow, say environmentalists, but provides no clear roadmap of how this will be achieved. Health crisis The health impacts are immense as people continue to drink, bathe and wash in its waters.
The myth persists that the river has a self-purifying quality — but the toxic waters spread life threatening diseases in a country where a third of a million children under five still die each year from diarrhoea and countless people suffer chronic dysentery and parasitic infections.
Polluted water takes a huge toll on the health of children living along the river banks People living along the Ganga are far more prone to cancer than anywhere else in the country. Studies by the National Cancer Registry Programme NCRP show there are alarmingly high rates of certain cancers in eastern Uttar Pradesh — and in the flood plains of West Bengal and Bihar, where cancer of the gall bladder, kidneys, liver, urinary bladder and skin are common.
Women in Delhi show the highest rates of gall bladder cancer in the world. Ganga is now a deadly source of cancer study says There are wider health implications as well.
They have been found in the Yamuna in Delhi and even in upper reaches of the Ganga around pilgrimage sites. Apart from a few localised studies by civil society groups or academics, the extent of the health crisis is unknown. Fishing by industrial waste outflow at the Nazirgunj drain near Kolkata in the morning mist Colonial legacy Many of the problems facing the Ganga are a colonial hangover, says Rudra.
Under the British in the mid nineteenth century, India built hundreds of miles of canals to siphon water for agriculture, leaving the river ill equipped to cope with pollution and creating a legacy of use of water for irrigation downstream.
They saw flooding as a hazard and built networks of embankments.
Initially this approach saved people from floods, but in the long term it led to a huge build-up of sediment and left people more vulnerable to high intensity floods. People failed to recognise the important role of low intensity floods for flushing out pollutants.The Ganges (/ ˈ ɡ æ n dʒ iː z / GAN-jeez), also known as Ganga (Hindustani: [ˈɡəŋɡaː]), is a trans-boundary river of Asia which flows through the nations of India and ashio-midori.com 2, km (1, mi) river rises in the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and flows south and east through the Gangetic Plain of North .
VII Desalination & Water Purification Technologies PREFACE Early humans thought that the taste of the water determined its purity. The Sus’ruta Samhita, Sanskrit writings about medical concerns ( BC), gives evidence that water treatment may well be as ancient.
The Ganges originates in the Himalayas after the confluence of six rivers – Alaknanda meets Dhauliganga at Vishnuprayag, Mandakini at Nandprayag, Pindar at Karnaprayag, Mandakini at Rudraprayag and finally Bhagirathi at Devaprayag (from here onwards, it is known as Ganga) in the Indian state of.
Each day, billion liters of waste water from sewage, domestic and industrial sources is dumped directly into the river, posing a serious public health crisis to over million in the Ganga River Basin. About NMCG,National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA),Ganga,National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG),a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, ,is the implementing wing of NGRBA and its General Body is chaired by the Minister, Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
Pollution of the Ganges (or Ganga), the largest river in India, poses significant threats to human health and the larger environment. Severely polluted with human waste and industrial contaminants, the river provides water to about 40% of India's population across 11 states,  serving an estimated population of million people or more, more than any other river in the world.