Varanasi, May 4: River Ganga remains highly polluted even after being declared the 'National River' by the Central Government. The Ganga was declared the 'National River' to facilitate the clean up operations.
A Ganga River Basin Authority was also set up in order to check pollution in the river and its degradation.
But the problems for the River Ganga are far from over. It remains immensely polluted. Filled with chemical wastes, sewage and even the remains of human and animal corpses, it poses major health risks to around 400 million people living by its side and all others who benefit from it.
Ganga also suffers from another major problem called silting which results into chocking of its flow.
Some people also believe that constructing dams on the Ganga could be the cause of low water level in the river.
Acharya Jitendra, president, Ganga Mahasabha, a voluntary organisation working for saving the Ganga said, "Nearly 243 dams are slated to be constructed on the tributaries of the Ganga in Uttarakhand. This will obstruct the flow of water into the main river. So obviously, there will be sand dunes and the water level will be low. If the tributaries don't release water into the river, how will there be water in the Ganga."
The residents say that even after being declared the 'National River', no steps have been taken to improve the condition of the Ganga.
"The condition of the Ganga is deteriorating by the day. There is more sand in it. Though it is declared a 'National River', no efforts are being made to clean it. If water is resleased from the dam, then only the water level will increase in the river," said Rajesh Kumar Singh, a resident.
Efforts have always been made to clean up the Ganga since a long time but none have been proved successful.
The Rajiv Gandhi Government launched the Ganga Action Plan in 1984, but yielded little result. The river is said to be directly affecting the lives of around 400 million people who live by its side.