Cleaning of Ganga and the ghats has been termed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project and rightly so.
One visit to Varanasi and you will not believe your eyes.
But as anticipated, the project is facing hurdles from the age-old industries and factories who have been releasing their chemical wastes in Ganga since day one. An integral part of this cleanup project involves the installation of internet-based reporting systems, which send accurate readings to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Once the systems are in place, the board can monitor the discharge and the emissions from these units.
The polluting units were earlier given time till 31st March, to install these systems. The deadline was later extended till June, but has failed to get any positive results. To add to the trouble, the industries that have got systems installed, are not transmitting the correct data to the main server at CPCB.
Despite personal interest of the PM, till date only 40% industries on the bank of Ganga have installed these systems. And only 1/5th are transmitting data.
Most polluting units are reluctant to install this monitoring system, as they will have to make sweeping changes in their production processes, which would mean additional cost.
The success rate is sadly very dismal. We were hoping that with the PM office behind the initiative, things would be rolling by now. The pollution board is planning to crack the whip on the units that don’t comply.
Let’s hope that we can see a revival of Ganga in our lifetime.