'Save Ganges' campaign in Varanasi

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Varanasi, Feb 1 (ANI): In an attempt to create mass awareness about the 'Save Ganga' campaign, residents of Varanasi organised a mini-marathon on Sunday.

Thousands of people, including women, participated in the event and urged masses to develop effective methods of cleaning up the most sacred river.

The rally was jointly organised by many environmental groups.

Officials hailed this effort and sought mass mobilization to protect the polluting rivers.

"These campaigns are very essential as they create awareness in people thus involving the masses in cleaning the Ganges," said V.D. Tripathi, an official of the Ganga Basin Authority.

"It is a praiseworthy effort as pollution in Ganges is increasing...everywhere in Kanpur, in Allahabad and other places pollution has been increasing. After Haridwar Ganga is very polluted and we should cooperate in making this river clean," said Ashok, a local.

Hindus believe that bathing in the Ganga on auspicious days cleanses them of sin and liberates them from the cycle of birth and death, but the river has fallen prey to water pollution and is literally in pitiable state of affairs.

The principal sources of pollution are domestic and industrial wastes. Conservative estimates put the effluents flowing into Ganges at 1.7 billion litres each day, out of which 1.4 billion litres is untreated.

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.he Ganga Action Plan (GAP) was initiated by the late Prime Minster Indira Gandhi, who called for a comprehensive survey of the situation in 1979.

After five years, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) published two comprehensive reports, which formed the base from which the action plan to clean up the Ganga, was developed. (ANI)

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