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NGO advocates Thames clean up practice for Ganga

Written by: Staff

Kolkata, Aug 31 (UNI) Alleging that the Ganga Action Plan(GAP) was a miserable failure in West Bengal, a Non Government Organisation has called for adopting the Thames clean up practice for the river involving the local people.

"If the Government of India can adopt Thames clean-up practice for the Yamuna, which is less polluted than the Ganga in West Bengal, why should not the same be applicable to the Ganga to free it from pollution," asked Howrah Ganatantrik Nagarik Samiti General Secretary and envrionmentalist Subhash Dutta.

He said the Thames 21 authority had taken up a programme for adopting river fronts by NGOs and individuals, which could be emulated for rejuvenation of the Ganga as well.

"GAP has miserably failed in West Bengal. It is time that a detailed technical review of the project is made," Mr.Dutta, who has filed a petition in the court in this regard, said.

A cruise through the downstream would bring to notice a pathetic picture--several points of dumping factory effluents, uncovered by GAP, the blackened water of highly polluted tributaries and canals at their meeting points with the Ganga and scores of abandoned jetties, pillars and warehouses leading to siltation of the river.

Even as the once polluted Thames is back to life bringing back the Salmon from near extinction, rampant dumping was still continuing in the Ganga with the wrong designing and selection of sites for sewerage treatment plants under GAP. Besides causing immense damage to the people, this has also led to the flight of Hilsas, the prized fish of this region, far from the Ganga, noted river expert Kalyan Rudra, who was a member of GAP implementation committee in the state, said.

"Unfortunately GAP has so far not taken any scheme, both under phase one and two, to check and control the dumping of garbages. The GAP authorities have never consulted the local municipalities before designing the STPs for discharge of waste water to the river. This has created a big gap in the functioning and performances of GAP," he said.

Under the existing practice the river front of the Ganga was being reclaimed by the local municipal bodies in such a manner that it was causing not only environmental hazards but also disrupting smooth flow of the water, Mr Rudra said.

A two-member team of the Samiti, including Mr Dutta, will participate in the Thames clean up programme to be held from September eight to 12 to learn from the experience and propagate its implementation for pollution control of the Ganga back in the country.


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