India Citizens Report on what ails Ganga Rejuvenation

December 9, 2019 SANDRP
The Hindustan Times editorial on Nov 27, 2019, has rightly said the following about “a recently-released Rejuvenating-Ganga River – A Citizen-Report, by the India Rivers Week, a consortium of seven NGOs”.
“A key reason for the failure of the river cleaning projects (Ganga and Yamuna action plans), says a recently-released citizen’s report, Rejuvenating Ganga, by the India Rivers Week, a consortium of seven NGOs, was their single-point focus on the main stem of the river, while the Ganga basin actually has eight major rivers (the Yamuna, Son, Ramganga, Gomti, Ghaghra, Gandak, Kosi and Damodar). The majority of the funds were spent on pollution-abatement measures on the main stem of the Ganga and on the upper Yamuna basin, which constitute just 20% of the Ganga basin.”
“Some other issues that have been affecting the health of the river system include: there are at least 1,000 dams in the Ganga basin, which obstruct the natural flow of the tributaries; diversion of water for various purposes; ruthless sand and boulder mining; indiscriminate extraction of groundwater and loss of flood plains and wetlands. If the Centre is keen to rejuvenate the river, it’s important to see it as a holistic system and not just focus on the main stem, escalate planning and decision-making to the basin level, stop all further construction on the rivers, implement strict regulation of sand and boulder removal, and define “river space” so that its banks are free from encroachment. Last, but not the least, the Namami Gange programme must define the desired flows in the Ganga main stem and its tributaries to allow the rejuvenation of the river.” (27 Nov. 2019) (6 Dec. 2019)
The Citizens report is available at the following links: rejuvenating-ganga-citizen-report
(South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People –SANDRP)