All eyes on Ganga

Down to Earth - - LETTERS - K G VYAS, FOR­MER AD­VI­SOR, RA­JIV GANDHI WA­TER­SHED MIS­SION

The Ganga Ac­tion Plan needs trans­parency. The Na­tional Mis­sion for Clean Ganga ( NMCG) must put out in pub­lic do­main how it pro­poses to en­sure the whole­some­ness of the Na­tional River and its basin. This could in­clude:

Con­tin­u­ous flow: A con­cept note de­scrib­ing the tech­ni­cal ap­proach to en­sure op­ti­mum en­vi­ron­men­tal flow in ev­ery trib­u­tary of the Ganga so that wa­ters of neigh­bour­ing basins are not re­quired to be trans­ferred.

Un­pol­luted flow: A mod­i­fied ap­proach pa­per giv­ing the tech­nol­ogy and roadmap to clean the river basin, which has 836 wa­ter­sheds, 126 sub-catch­ments and 22 catch­ments. Con­ven­tional pol­lu­tion con­trol meth­ods have failed.

Ge­o­log­i­cal en­tity: Ev­ery healthy river sys­tem per­forms its nat­u­ral func­tion, that is, trans­porta­tion of sed­i­ments and dis­solved salts dur­ing rainy sea­son and trans­porta­tion of dis­solved com­pounds and ma­te­rial (rock frag­ments, for ex­am­ple) dur­ing dry months. NMCG should put out a crys­tal clear ap­proach pa­per on restor­ing the ge­o­log­i­cal en­tity of the river sys­tem.

Eco­log­i­cal en­tity: The Ganga river sys­tem is a del­i­cate bal­ance be­tween liv­ing species and the phys­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment, achieved by na­ture over thou­sands of years. NMCG may first de­fine the en­vi­ron­men­tal flow in In­dian con­text and then de­scribe how the ecosys­tem and the safety of life forms shall be en­sured.

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