Haridwar, Oct 2 (ANI): Hundreds of holy men, residents, and pilgrims are cleaning the river Ganges of garbage and silt in Haridwar.
The flow of the river into the town has been stopped for little over two weeks for cleaning ahead of the 'Ardha Kumbha', a huge congregation of Hindus, to be held early next year in the town.
"Ganges Committee members, volunteers and seers start the cleaning drive of the river after the Ganges canal is closed for some time annually. We are removing clothes, wood, iron and glass pieces from the river, thrown by people into the Ganges unknowingly. We have started the cleaning drive so that the pilgrims coming here find the river Ganges clean," said Ram Kumar Mishra, president, Ganges Committee.
Legend has it that the River Ganges known as Ganga was brought to earth by King Bhagirath after prayers to God Shiva.
"Ganges was brought to the earth from heaven for the welfare of earthlings. Earlier, one drop of the Ganges water used to taste like nectar, but now the river has been turned into a sewer. We are saddened by this," says Mahant Gyan Das, a seer.
Though Ganga Action Plan was set up by the Government in 1985 to clean the river, much of the so-called-action remains only on paper.
The Ganges Committee, a non-government agency, actively campaigns against the pollution of Ganges in Haridwar.
The Ganges runs its course of over 2,500 kilometers from Gangotri in the Himalayas to Ganga Sagar in the Bay of Bengal through 29 cities with population of over 100,000 each.
With over one billion tons of waste being dumped into it everyday, the Ganges remains the most polluted river in the orld. (ANI)