Published in: 2021
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
The river Ganga is of enormous historical, economic, physical and metaphysical importance to India and is lifeline to millions of Indians living on its banks. It is considered a goddess in Hindu mythology and also has been prime witness of other religions.
Originating in the western Himalayas, Ganga flows south and east through five states in India. The Ganga river basin covers one third of India’s land area and is home to 43% of its people. Ganga is one of the world’s largest, and most polluted, rivers. Untreated sewage and industrial effluent are the main pollutants: around 1 billion litres of raw sewage end up in Ganga every day. Pollution poses a real threat to livelihoods as well as the ecosystem. Over-extraction of water for different purposes such as irrigation and hydropower plants that slow river flow has exacerbated matters. Ganga rejuvenation efforts began in 1985 with the first Ganga Action Plan. However, in 30 years the condition of the river ecosystem has not significantly improved, and in some stretches has even worsened.
GIZ (2021). Support to Ganga Rejuvenation Factsheet. GIZ
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