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Ganga River Pollution

Ganga River Pollution

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There has been a steady deterioration in the quality of water of Indian rivers over several decades. India’s fourteen major, 55 minor and several hundred small rivers receive millions of litres of sewage, industrial and agricultural wastes. Most of these rivers have been rendered to the level of sewage flowing drains. There are serious water quality problems in the cities, towns and villages using these waters. Water borne diseases are rampant, fisheries are on decline, and even cattle are not spared from the onslaught of pollution.
There has been a steady deterioration in the quality of water of Indian rivers over several decades. India’s fourteen major, 55 minor and several hundred small rivers receive millions of litres of sewage, industrial and agricultural wastes. Most of these rivers have been rendered to the level of sewage flowing drains. There are serious water quality problems in the cities, towns and villages using these waters. Water borne diseases are rampant, fisheries are on decline, and even cattle are not spared from the onslaught of pollution.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi on Jul 26, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/25/2013

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Ganga river pollution in India- A brief report.
Ganga is becoming toxic day by day.
By
Dr. Nitish PriyadarshiGeologist76,circular roadRanchi-834001India.Email: nitish.priyadarshi@gmail.com
Most ancient civilizations grew along the banks of rivers. Even today, millions of peopleall over the world live on the banks of rivers and depend on them for their survival.All of us have seen a river - large or small, either flowing through our town, or somewhere else. Rivers are nothing more than surface water flowing down from a higher altitude to a lower altitude due to the pull of gravity. One river might have its source in aglacier, another in a spring or a lake. Rivers carry dissolved minerals, organiccompounds, small grains of sand, gravel, and other material as they flow downstream.Rivers begin as small streams, which grow wider as smaller streams and rivers join themalong their course across the land. Eventually they flow into seas or oceans.Unfortunately most of the world's major rivers are heavily polluted.The pollution of environment is the ‘gift’ of the industrial revolution. Prior to this theagrarian cultures created significant environmental deterioration in the form of soilerosion- through deforestation and overgrazing. The environmental degradation is a by product of modern civilization.
 
There has been a steady deterioration in the quality of water of Indian rivers over severaldecades. India’s fourteen major, 55 minor and several hundred small rivers receivemillions of litres of sewage, industrial and agricultural wastes. Most of these rivers have been rendered to the level of sewage flowing drains. There are serious water quality problems in the cities, towns and villages using these waters. Water borne diseases arerampant, fisheries are on decline, and even cattle are not spared from the onslaught of  pollution.According to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) five rivers in Asia serving over 870million people are among the most threatened in the world, as dams, water extraction andclimate change all take their toll.The Ganges, Indus, Yangtze, Salween-Nu and Mekong-Lancang rivers make up half of the WWF’s “top ten” most threatened river basins.India has a large number of rivers that are lifelines for the millions living along their  banks. These rivers can be categorized into four groups:1.Rivers that flow down from the Himalayas and are supplied by melting snow andglaciers. This is why these are perennial, that is, they never dry up during the year.2. The Deccan Plateau Rivers, which depend on rainfall for their water.3. The coastal rivers, especially those on the west coast, which are short and do not retainwater throughout the year.4. The rivers in the inland drainage basin of west Rajasthan, which depend on the rains.These rivers normally drain towards silt lakes or flow into the sand.River Ganga (Ganges) of India has been held in high esteem since time immemorial andHindus from all over the world cherish the idea of a holy dip in the river under the faiththat by doing so they will get rid of their sins of life. More than 400 million people livealong theGanges River. An estimated 2,000,000 persons ritually bathe daily in the river. Historically also, Ganga is the most important river of the country and beyond doubt isclosely connected with the history of civilization as can be noticed from the location of the ancient cities of Hardwar, Prayag, Kashi and Patliputra at its bank. To millions of  people it is sustainer of life through multitude of canal system and irrigation of thewasting load. Hundreds of the villages and even the big cities depend for their drinkingwater on this river. It is believed, a fact which has also been observed, that the water of Ganga never decays even for months and years when water of other rivers and agencies begins to develop bacteria and fungi within a couple of days. This self purificationcharacteristic of Ganga is the key to the holiness and sanctity of its water. Thecombination of  bacteriophagesand large populations of people bathing in the river haveapparently produced a self-purification effect, in which water-borne bacteria such asdysenteryandcholera are killed off, preventing large-scale epidemics. The river also has an unusual ability to retain dissolved oxygen.With growing civilization and population all over how long Ganga will retain its self  purification characteristics only time can judge.
 
SOURCES:The Gangotri Glacier, a vast expanse of ice five miles by fifteen, at the foothills of theHimalayas (14000 ft) in North Uttar Pradesh is the source of Bhagirathi, which joins withAlaknanda (origins nearby) to form Ganga at the craggy canyon-carved town of Devprayag. Interestingly, the sources of Indus and the Brahmaputra are alsogeographically fairly close; the former goes through Himachal Pradesh and fans outthrough Punjab and Sind (Pakistan) into the Arabian Sea. The latter courses for most of its tremendous length under various names through Tibet/China, never far from the Nepalor Indian borders, and then takes a sharp turn near the northeastern tip of India, gathersmomentum through Assam before joining the major stream of the Ganga near Dacca inBangladesh to become the mighty Padma, river of joy and sorrow for much of Bangladesh. From Devprayag to the Bay of Bengal and the vastSunderbans delta, theGanga flows some 1550 miles, passing (and giving life to) some of the most populouscities of India, including Kanpur (2 million), Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, and Calcutta (14million).The largest tributary to the Ganga is the Ghaghara, which meets it before Patna, in Bihar, bearing much of the Himalayan glacier melt from Northern Nepal. The Gandak, whichcomes from near Katmandu, is another big Himalayan tributary. Other important riversthat merge with the Ganga are the Son, which originates in the hills of Madhya Pradesh,the Gomti which flows past Lucknow.
Previous Work:
A number of investigations have been carried out on the physiochemical and biologicalcharacters of the Ganga. Lakshminarayana (1965) published a series of papers reportingthe results of studies carried out at Varanasi during the period between March, 1957 andMarch, 1958. it was observed by him that the values of the most of the parametersdecreased during rainy season while no marked variation was observed during wintersand summers.In the same year Chakraborty et.al. (1965) from Kanpur reported the water quality of Ganga at J.K. Rayon’s water intake point and at Golaghat and Bhairoghat pumpingstations situated at the upstream of the river. It was concluded that the water qualitygradually deteriorated as it passes from Bhairoghat pumping station to the J.K. Rayonwater intake point in summers because in this stretch the river received waste waters fromnumber of sewage drains.A year later Saxena et.al. (1966) made a systematic survey of the chemical quantity of Ganga at Kanpur. According to the study, the biological oxygen demand, i.e. B.O.D.varied from 5.3ppm (minimum) in winter to 16.0ppm (maximum) in summer. Thechloride ranged between 9.2 and 12.7 ppm and the river was found to be alkaline innature except in rainy season. He concluded that the tanneries significantly increased the pollution load of river as they discharge huge amounts of effluents containing organicwastes and heavy metals. It was further reported that forty five tanneries, ten textile mills

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