09 November , 2022 |

Environment

The Self Purifying Ganga

The Ganga is a significant river in the Indian subcontinent. It begins its journey in the central Himalayas at the Gangotri Glacier and drains into the Bay of Bengal via its vast delta in the Sunderbans. The holy river is believed to purify people's souls and themselves; its self-cleaning properties are discussed in this article.

Ganga- The lifeline In the Indian city of Varanasi, a man in his thirties does laundry on the banks of the Ganges. Vijay Kumar is the man's name, and his family has been washing clothes on the riverbank for generations. "I'm here every day," he explained. "I start at 5 a.m. and iron throughout the day. I deliver clothes to my customers in the evening." Vijay Kumar's riverside home is right next to a traditional crematorium in Varanasi that I own. But what should I do?' Vijay asked.

"This is our usual laundry location, and we have nowhere else to go. The government promised us a new home years ago, but nothing has changed." Vijay Kumar is one of over 400 million people who depend on the Ganges for their livelihoods; he is closing down his business: Soapy water pollutes the river.

River Ganga The Ganga River flows from the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas. The Ganga River is known as India's largest river basin. It supports a large number of people despite covering the majority of the country's land mass. Hindus revere the river as Maa Ganga or Mother Ganga.

"The city itself is very strongly associated with Shiva," said anthropologist Dr Assa Doron. Of course, Shiva has a close relationship with the cleansing goddess Ganga. [...] They truly make this city sparkle." Millions of Hindu pilgrims visit Varanasi yearly for spiritual cleansing on the Ganges River. Many other Hindus who visit Varanasi cremate their loved ones and scatter their ashes in the sacred river. Hindus believe that death or being cremated in Varanasi frees them from moksha, the cycle of death and rebirth. But while the Ganges, known in India as the Ganges, maybe clean to religious adherents, secularly, it is actually heavily polluted.

Pollutants in Ganga • Every day, a massive amount of untreated sewage is dumped into the Ganges. • Many textile industries, slaughterhouses, hospitals, distilleries, and chemical plants dump their waste into rivers without treatment. • Dams disrupt the natural flow of rivers and pollute the Ganges. • The massive amount of fertilizer used constantly flows into the Ganges River with rainwater, endangering aquatic life; for example, Ganga Dolphins have become extinct because they can only live in freshwater. • Because people from various religious groups revere the river, countless people throw the ashes of their loved ones into it each year.

Self-purifying properties of Ganga There are two significant factors which adhere to the unique quality of self-cleaning of River Ganga. -Ganga Water's Antibacterial Effects: According to research conducted by the Institute of Microbiology Technology (IMTECH) in Chandigarh, Ganga water contains bacteriophages (viruses that kill bacteria), making it antibacterial. The antiseptic properties of Ganga River water have always amused the scientific community. In 1896, British physician E Hanbury Hankins discovered that Vibrio cholera died within three hours of exposure to his water but multiplied in distilled water. According to the Microbiology Technology Institute - IMTECH (one of the CSIR's research institutes), more than 20 species of bacteriophages can fight disease-causing organisms such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, cholera, and urinary tract infections, have been added to the Ganga River's waters.

-Excessive Oxygen Levels in Water: After numerous investigations, this factor contributing to abnormal oxygen levels in the Ganges River remains a mystery. It is worth noting that the Ganges River contains 25 times more oxygen than any other river on the planet. This is one of the reasons for the Ganges' self-cleaning properties, and the Ganges' high level of oxygen gives it the unique ability to remain fresh for long periods of time.

According to a recent new study, the water of the Ganges River, despite being polluted, still has ‘medicinal properties.' Some microbiologists are using Ganges water to create new "antibacterial compounds."

Namami Gange Programme The Namami Ganga Program (NGP) is dynamic and evolving in nature to address emerging needs and priorities for restoring the Ganges River and its tributaries. Under the NGP, annual state-level action plans are developed, and projects are developed by states and adopted for implementation following appropriate approval processes, striving to complete projects within projected timelines.

NGP will prepare an annual state-level action plan based on which it aims to complete 127 sewage and Ghats/crematory projects from 2019-20 to 2022-23. It was made Of the 127 eligible projects, 80 have been completed to date. In the last three years, 122 projects have been completed. This includes the creation/rehabilitation of 1068 MLD-STP capacity, laying of 1580 km of sewage network, development/rehabilitation of 82 Ghats and 20 crematoriums, riverfront development of Patna etc.

The Government of India is funding the Clean Ganges National Mission (NMCG), a nodal agency empowered to implement the Namami Ganges Program nationwide. NMCG will fund State Governments/State Clean Ganga Missions/CPSUSs/other implementing agencies.

We hope you loved this blog; if the answer is yes, then show your love by sharing this valuable content with your friends and loved ones. Until then, ensure you behave responsibly towards the environment and plant a sapling whenever possible. Best Regards :)

Picture Credits - Unsplash

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