Ganga River: Culture, Pollution, Conservation Efforts & Strategies | Insights into Challenges and Initiatives

Ganga

Ganga River is the greatest Indian river in the northern subcontinent. It is a holy river and also declared as the National River of India, which is true because the locals are attached here very religiously and spiritually.

The popular and official name of the river is Ganga in Hindi as well as in any other Indian language. But internationally and recently it is called by its conventional name which is Ganges.

The river shows the culture and religion of Hinduism, hindu devotees are very fond of this river as it represents their culture and beliefs. So basically it is a large and wide river with quite and flat flow of water. It flows from the densely populated and most fertilized regions in the world.

The length of the Ganges is quite short in comparison to other huge rivers all around the world and in Asia, as Ganga measures the length of 2,510 km (1,560 miles). On the other hand, the length never affects the importance of the river, as it is very valuable among Hinduism and Hindus.

Animal and Plant Life

Ganga River

It is believed that the area of the Ganga River used to be jungle and densely forested. According to historical writings and sayings, during the 16th and 17th centuries, wild animals were hunted there including wild elephants, lions, buffalos, tigers, rhinos, bison, etc.

From the Ganga basin, much of the natural vegetation has been reduced and disappeared. In recent times, the land and area have been extremely cultivated and fertilized to fulfill the requirements of growing cities and populations. As modernization is increasing day by day people need natural amenities to survive and to fulfill their basic needs. The land is now used to cultivate crops to feed the never-ending population ratio.

Only a few wild animals are left, except wildcats, wolves, deers, jackals, boars, and foxes. Only in the region of the delta, in Sundarbans, few Bengal tigers, marsh deer, and crocodiles have left.

Origin of River Ganga

Ganga

The Ganga grows and flows from the Himalayan mountains and it is very essential among the people residing there. The snow that melts from the Himalayas creates the ground of Ganga.

Ganga flows and passes through several Indian states, covering specific parts of states such as Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, New Delhi, Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, and Himachal Pradesh.

The Ganga River System

By now you must be aware of the importance, size, and value of the Ganga River System. It is immensely huge and almost covers all the parts and states of India. The soil and land around the Ganga are very rich, fertilized and so ready for cultivation.

The land is very helpful and essential for agriculture, as in growing cities with a growing population food is a necessity for all beings including animals as well. It is important to feed our bodies the basic requirements. And the Ganga land is helping a lot to farmers and citizens also.

The Ganga River System is incredible and beyond our imagination because it is providing people with employment not just food and crops. Due to the river many people got employed and productive in their daily lives.

Big industries and factories are also supported by the River system, which offers them water, cultivated land, soil, fertility, and more. The drainage pattern (dendritic) is also represented by the River Ganga.

You must be aware of it, without a doubt Ganga is home to many living things such as animals and plants. A large number of plants and animals survive and live beneath the Ganges or around it.

Also, a large percentage of employment in India comes only from the Ganga. From the top of the Himalayas, the Ganga flows in the south and east directions.

Environmental issues

The concerns and issues have increased a lot regarding the environment and environmental impact. Many things are affecting the environmental health such as hydroelectric dams and it also consists of the depletion of terrestrial wildlife and aquatic habitats. The most concerned one is the forced and unwanted migration of citizens residing in the paths of reservoirs and dams.

This promotes the loss and lack of cultivated ground and the interruption or shortage of water supply for the people residing near the dams. It leads the situation to decrease the quantity of power and sometimes the lack of power.

The main issue, as time passes the quality of river water is decreasing, and recently too it degrading day by day. The Ganges basin consists of extremely inhabited regions in India and on earth.

As we know, the Ganges is the home and source of living for thousands and millions of citizens of India. But the truth is a large ratio of river water is extremely dirty and polluted.

Due to the waste of towns and cities that are dumped into the river and untreated or broken sewage systems that go directly into the river. And tons of manufacturing industries and factories dump their chemical and industrial waste in the water.

Yet another reason for high and severe pollution levels in water is agricultural runoff, the remains of burned or unburned human bodies, and animal corpses. Strong bacteria have also been found in the river that are capable of causing high levels of diseases.

Also, harmful substances and toxins have been found in the river Ganga such as arsenic, chromium, and cadmium etc.

Ganga Action Plan (GAP)

The Ganga Action Plan (GAP) is a huge project and program to clean or purify the water of the river Ganga. This plan is held to clean the Ganges river which is situated in India.

As we are aware of the importance of the Ganga, it is an important river for citizens of India. A large number of the Indian population is dependent on its water for irrigation, bathing, washing, drinking, etc. And many religious activities and ceremonies as well because it is the holy river of India.

By carelessness and stupid actions of people, the river got dirty and polluted over time. And in recent years the pollution is increasing day by day. The plan is to clean the river and hope it works for the Indian people because if citizens are warned and take precautions it is going to benefit them only.

Since there are many benefits of having clean river water. Several diseases will be under control and due to that many living beings will not die including animals etc. Clean water can be used for tons of purposes and who doesn’t need water? every one of us needs.

People throw trash and waste into the water blindly, knowing that it will only harm them.

So, the Indian government assured to take some actions to preserve and conserve the water for good use. From there the GAP plan was introduced and established.

The aim and goal are clear to clean and filter the Ganga water. And to ensure that it’s clean, safe, and disease-free for anyone who utilizes it whether they be humans or animals.

The project consists of some important steps too like fixing broken sewages and treating them for good. And to avoid the sewage drainage flowing directly into the Ganges. Other steps like stopping and preventing factories or big industries from dumping their injurious chemical or industrial waste in the water.

Another main action taken by the government is to plant and grow trees along the river shores or riverbanks. Growing more and more plants near the river can help immensely in keeping the water healthy and clean.

These actions will conserve clean and good-quality water for upcoming generations.

The Ganga River- Pollution

Ganga is a huge source of water for Indian people, but currently, it is facing a lot of crises and problems. And the major is pollution, the river pollution is a severe environmental issue that affects and risks the lives of many people in India.

The pollution from many sources and aspects has immensely damaged and decreased the quality of water and the ecosystem.

Various reasons lead to Ganga pollution. Domestic waste is the main concern nowadays as cities and towns are growing and reaching heights by damaging natural resources.

Most of the cities and towns dont have proper sewage or drainage system facilities. As a result poor sewage system dumps their waste in water and it is full of harmful substances like detergents, dangerous chemicals, human waste, and different pollutants that can be enough to ruin the water quality.

There is agricultural waste which is not even less harmful, this kind of waste contains harmful fertilizers, pesticides, and different chemicals that are utilized in farming. These toxins are washed by rain in the river and lead to water pollution.

It can lead to decreasing oxygen levels or lack of oxygen in water, which is harmful to the lives of aquatic animals and organisms.

Solid waste is also a severe reason for water pollution, people dump their house garbage and household trash in water. That contains plastic bags, bottles, etc. It is so harmful to animals as well as the environment. Plastic can make the soil and land dead, there will be no fertilization and no chance of cultivation or agriculture.

It is a big threat to animals, consuming plastic can put their lives at risk.

Another reason for pollution is religious activities, people dump human body remains in the water and things like food and flowers which also pollute the river.

FAQs:-

1. What is the Ganga River known for?
– The Ganga River holds immense cultural and religious significance in India, revered by millions as a sacred river. It’s also known for its crucial role in supporting agriculture and biodiversity.

2. Where does the Ganga River originate?
– The Ganga River originates from the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas, located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.

3. What is the length of the Ganga River?
– The Ganga River spans approximately 2,510 kilometers (1,560 miles) from its source in the Himalayas to its delta in the Bay of Bengal.

4. What are the major states through which the Ganga River flows?
– The Ganga River flows through several Indian states, including Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal.

5. Why is the Ganga River considered holy?
– The Ganga River is considered holy in Hinduism, believed to be the earthly manifestation of the goddess Ganga. It’s also believed that bathing in its waters cleanses one of sins and leads to spiritual purification.

6. What are the main environmental challenges facing the Ganga River?
– The Ganga River faces severe pollution due to industrial waste, sewage discharge, agricultural runoff, and solid waste. This pollution threatens both aquatic life and public health.

7. What is the Ganga Action Plan?
– The Ganga Action Plan (GAP) is a government initiative aimed at cleaning and restoring the Ganga River. It involves various measures such as sewage treatment, industrial effluent control, and afforestation along the riverbanks.

8. How does pollution in the Ganga River affect communities living along its banks?
– Pollution in the Ganga River poses significant health risks to communities relying on it for drinking water, bathing, and irrigation. It can lead to waterborne diseases and environmental degradation.

9. What efforts are being made to conserve the Ganga River’s biodiversity?
– Conservation efforts for the Ganga River’s biodiversity include habitat restoration, species conservation programs, and the implementation of sustainable fishing practices.

10. How can individuals contribute to the preservation of the Ganga River?
– Individuals can contribute by reducing their water consumption, properly disposing of waste, participating in clean-up initiatives, and supporting organizations working towards Ganga conservation.
Also Read:-

Namami Gange Project: Cleaning and Revitalizing India’s Holy River Ganga

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