Varanasi, Apr 5 : Even though millions have been spent to preserve the sacred River Ganges, the pollution level in the river has reached an alarming level.
The oxygen level in the river water has dripped to alarmingly low levels.
The banks of the river present an ironical picture where on one side religious activities like prayers, recital of hymns and fire-rituals take place and on the other side, heaps of garbage lies unattended to.
Dirty buffaloes are being washed in the same water body where humans take their 'holy dip'. The flora and fauna are also facing danger.
"If water level is depleted, this means that indirectly oxygen content is depleted and oxygen content is life-bearing substance. It is on this that the entire aquatic life and environment is dependent," said Ramshankar Singh, President, Rakshat Gangam Andolan.
According to reports, while funds are being allocated for the noble and much required river cleaning projects, the many projects have not seen the implementation stage as yet.
While the pollution data has made the environmentalists pull up their socks, the religious seers in the country have been protesting against the increasing pollution levels for quite some time now.
"The trees are being cut, there is imbalance in the ecology. The glaciers that used to feed the river are melting today. It is an alarming situation. If things don't improve, we are scared that the river might no longer be a perennial one. We hope the water level doesn't drop further and Ganga doesn't dry up," said Swami Swarupa Nand, a seer.
Nearly 88 per cent of the pollution originates in the 27 cities that are located along the river's banks and the banks of its tributaries.
According to a recent official report, only 39 percent of the primary target of the Ganga Action Plan, which the Central Government had started in 1985, has been met so far.
The Ganga Action Plan (GAP) was originated from the personal intervention and interest of the late Prime Minster Indira Gandhi, who requested a comprehensive survey of the situation in 1979.
After five years, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) published two comprehensive reports, which formed the ba