Tracking the Clean Ganga Project: Recent Recommendations

Experts recommendations on Clean Ganga Project

Experts recommendations on Clean Ganga ProjectIndia’s Clean Ganga project received a much needed impetus from different quarters. The developments in the last couple of days not only hinted at the global appeal of this ambitious initiative but also a genuine effort from global experts to do their bit through knowledge transfer and specific recommendations.

US-based Researcher Questions Effectiveness of Jal Nigam

Kelly D. Ally, who is a professor of Anthropology at the Auburn University in the US, has showered praise on the Clean Ganga campaign initiated by Narendra Modi. Ally is noted for her work on issues pertaining to wastewater management. The top researcher in this domain raised an alarm about the ineffectiveness of implementtaion bodies such as Jal Nigam. Although she has been appreciative of the fact that the Indian Prime Minister has focussed on such agencies for cleaning up the huge river, she nevertheless questioned the logic behind endowing more money to such agencies for a critical project like Clean Ganga.

In support of her argument, Ally said that in the last couple of decades, the agency has not been able to prove itself. As someone who has been doing research in North India for the past 20 years, she focussed on environmental problems and the public culture in the region. Her book “On the Banks of the Ganga: When Wastewater Meets a Sacred River” explains how Hindus interpret River Ganga as a sacrosanct religious identity and how they view the environmental problems ailing it.

According to the researcher, not much has changed in all these years when one considers the way various institutions in India have been working. She has sought government’s attention to the fact that several criticisms have emerged about the work done by Jal Nigam over the years. Ally opined that the situation is rather precarious in Varanasi and flagged the need to use alternative energy sources for effective wastewater management in Ganga. She has stressed on the need to be creative. Besides focussing on solar energy, Ally recommended that the government should explore other clean energy options to be used in the future.

Uma Bharati Meets Team from UK for Clean Ganga

Uma Bharati, the Union Minister for Water resources, River development and Ganga rejuvenation, had a meeting with a group of experts from UK regarding the Clean Ganga project at New Delhi. The team, comprising three members, was accompanied by Julian Evans, British Deputy High Commissioner in India, and Melissa Else, Second Secretary of Energy Security, UK. The British experts presented before the Union Minister the steps that had been taken to clean up Thames.

Martin Griffiths, who once headed the Water Quality, UK Environment Agency, provided a detailed account of the assets that the Indian government has created on the banks of River Ganga as a part of the Ganga Action Plan. He rightly pointed out that these assets are lying unutilised. Griffiths was one of the experts, who had taken part in Ganga Action Plan-I as well.

Following the meeting, the Union Minister expressed willingness to collaborate with the British experts. AK Bishnoi, Water Resources Secretary, and other prominent officials also attended the said meeting.