We often discuss environmental problems, which are frequently global-level problems, and we feel powerless to make any changes. There are international laws and regulations, as well as our own national laws and acts for environmental protection. National and international organisations are also fighting to save our environment. Some of the important laws are:
  • Indian Forest Act, \(1927\)
  • Wildlife Protection Act, \(1972\)
  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, \(1974\)
  • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, \(1981\)
  • The Environment Protection Act, \(1986\).
Let us now see about the Ganga action plan.
Pollution of the Ganga:
The Ganga flows for almost \(2500\ kilometres\) from Gangotriin the Himalayas to Ganga Sagar in the Bay of Bengal.
The Ganges river basin
More than a hundred towns and cities in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal have turned it into a drain by pouring their garbage and excreta into it. Every day, a large amount of untreated sewage is dumped into the Ganges.
In addition to these wastes, other human activities such as bathing, washing clothes, and immersion of ashes or unburned corpses are dumped into the Ganges that causes pollution of the river. The industries also add to the Ganga's pollution load with chemical effluents, and the toxicity kills fish in large sections of the river.
Polluted Ganga river
Coliform is a group of bacteria present in the intestines of humans, and their presence in water indicates that disease-causing microorganisms have contaminated the water. While coliform is harmless, its presence in river water suggests the presence of other, potentially harmful intestinal bacteria.
Some measurable factors are used to quantify pollution or the quality of water. Measuring the pH of the river water is used as an universal indicator. If the pH of river water is less than \(7\), the water is acidic and thus polluted.
Ganga action plan:
This multi-crore project was launched in \(1985\) as the water quality in the Ganga was very poor. The project was aimed to clean the river Ganga and makes its water pollution-free.
The Ganga Action Plan (GAP) was created to reduce the pollution load in the river by more than \(75\%\). The plan has been implemented in \(2\) phases since \(1985\).
The water quality has been checked regularly by evaluating the total coliform number/\(100ml\). The important aspects of the Ganga Action Plan:
1. Diversion of sewers away from rivers
2. Treating the sewage released and changing it into an energy source
3. Construction of community management system
4. Enforcing the establishment of effluent treatment plants by industries.