Ganga River Pollution-Sixth Most Polluted River In The World

Ganga River Pollution Case Study


Ganga river pollution-Ganga is the sixth most polluted river in the world. The contamination of running water in India is not a new issue.

Since ancient times the Ganges is considered holy by the people of India.



It is believed that the holy river has the divine potential of washing away the sins anyone ever committed.

Due to these beliefs, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims visit the holy river and bathe in it.

Causes of Ganga river pollution


It is quite understandable as being the largest river in the country and literally providing life to more than 40% of India’s total population it has been respected and worshiped by the Hindus.

During the occasion of The Kumbh Mela, which is a mass gathering of Hindu pilgrims which takes place in exactly twelve years, in this occasion an estimate of 120 million people come to bathe in its sacred waters.

The damages it deals with the river are incomprehensible. In addition to all the waste during religious activities, the river has to go through, the contamination of waters but it doesn’t stop there.

The river is 2,525 km long and it is not possible to monitor every inch of it.

 As discussed above, this holy river is a source of life, many depend on the river Ganga for their daily basic needs of survival.



The Ganga basin is home to approximately 400 million people.

Many of them being below the poverty line use the river in every possible way that they can which includes bathing, washing clothes and utilities, cleaning cattle, disposing of waste, etc.

This type of waste is mainly biodegradable in nature hence does not affect the ecological balance of the river by a significant margin.

Due to high population density & a lot of industries near the banks of the river, the quantity of waste material disposed of in the river is very high.

The highly toxic industrial waste is also thrown in the river which is making the condition worse.

Due to weak infrastructure and negligence of the corporations, the highly toxic waste materials are dumped into the river without prior treatment making the river water not usable.

Over ninety percent of its water is used for agricultural purposes, which means the pesticides, fertilizers, manure and other harmful chemicals also gets swept back to the river.

All these factors combined together resulted in polluting the river to the extent where it became the sixth most polluted river in the world.

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Ganga river pollution solutions-

Ganges river pollution facts-Pollution in Ganga is of two types.

Organic- due to bacteria and pathogens and chemical pollution due to human and animal non-organic wastes, which generally includes pesticides, nitrates or phosphates.

There is no denying the fact the Ganga is polluted. The following measures can be taken to eradicate the foreign pollutants and make the river a little less polluted.

The majority of the river water is used for irrigation and therefore the pesticides, manure, other chemicals used in the agriculture industry, etc. are swept away with the water hence entering the mainstream hence disturbing the marine life.



In order to minimize the damage this does, Green agriculture should be practiced.

Reducing the human and animal waste that has been continuously dumped in the river without any consent.

Another factor which affects water pollution is Air pollution.

If the air is polluted then the pollutants present in the air also gets mixed up in the water normally disturbing the oxygen concentration and this proves to be disturbing the marine life.

Proper steps should be taken before releasing smoke in such an environment.

Nature is not very predictable. In recent times due to ecological disbalance floods are quite regular.

In such conditions, the river enters human surroundings and this leads to increasing pollution. Human settlements should be at a safe place and the river banks should be kept as clean as possible.

Plastics are found floating in the river all the time. Most of these are from waste religious materials. They can be reduced by reducing the use of plastic in general lifestyle altogether.


Ganga river pollution project


The first action of the treatment of river water was started by Shri Rajeev Gandhi on 14th January 1986 known as the Ganga Action plan.

This plan mainly focused on diversion of domestic and agricultural waste hence minimizing their effect on the river.

It also worked in treating the toxic materials poured into the river.

The secondary objectives of the plan being conserving biodiversity and gathering experience in order to treat other heavily polluted rivers in India.

Basically, wastewater treatment was the main highlight of the plan.

Wastewater management includes treatment of the wastewater through both physical and chemical processes.

The cleaner the wastewater dumped back to the river the cleaner the water of the river becomes.

The first phase of the plan showed results in reducing the incoming waste with the water, however later on the plan was not able to rise up to the expectations hence was shut down on 31 March 2000.

The Indian government invested ₹ 9017.1 million (~190 million USD ) in the Ganga action plan. In the end, many scientists and experts described this plan to be a failure.

The purpose of these projects right now is to clean the river to an extent where it’s water can be used for bathing purposes.

So far the water contamination levels are low enough only in Uttarakhand.

In other towns and cities from where the Ganga flows, the tests show that the water is not fit to be used for domestic nor even for agricultural purposes.

The government has been promising to work in order to clean the river water and even spent over 4000 crores towards the cause.

The condition, however, has not improved a bit. Quite frankly the water contamination levels are even higher now compared to before in many parts of the river.

The government despite its various efforts failed in providing the desired outcome. In previous years, the levels of contamination of river water have increased in seven regions.

In May 2015 Namami Gange program was launched by prime minister Narendra Modi with the purpose of cleaning and rejuvenating the holy river.

The plan estimates to cost the government 200 billion rupees. The plan focuses on manufacturing better sewage systems with the capability of treating contaminations beforehand.

Afforestation is encouraged and been given priority. Construction of lavatories in rural areas for each and every household in order to provide proper sanitation.

Due to increased pollutants in the water, the ecological flow is disturbed therefore conserving flora and fauna in order to maintain the balance.

Monitoring corporate industrial development and toxin release along the Ganga basin. These pointers act as the backbone of the program.

In five years the program has not shown considerable development due to weak infrastructure and lack of funding.

Considering the thought and time placed in these projects some development is to be expected but it seems the non-friendly substances always somehow find a way to enter the Ganges the contaminations have only risen to significant margin.

The government’s efforts to clean the river are seemingly futile due to poor expertise in planning, corruption in unimaginable scale, stubborn religious organizations and the oblivious nature of the general public.


The United Nations declared Ganga river as the sixth most polluted river in the world and all the steps are taken to clean it have been proven to be futile. The amount of COLIFORMS IS VERY HIGH RIGHT NOW IN THE GANGA RIVER.


Ganga river history-


The holy river plays a significant role in Hindu mythology and has been a center of many ancient civilizations and different cultures.

The Ganges emerges from the Gangotri glacier, with many tributaries increase in size, flows west and finally empty itself in the Bay of Bengal.

According to the Hindu beliefs bathing in the holy water of the river washes off all your sins.

The river has given the title of ‘Maa’ means mother and is often termed in religious textbooks as Ganga Maa.


According to Hindu mythology when a certain king’s sons were all killed by a saint then their souls were not able to ascend to heaven.

The only solution to this was if their ashes were dipped in mother Ganga, they will find peace. Therefore after much praying, Lord Brahma was pleased and decided to release holy river Ganga from his vase.

But he was concerned that Earth will not be able to contain itself from the flow of Ganga if released directly.

Here is where Lord Shiva comes in. he received Ganga on his head and from there the river reached the Earth. Since that time she has been flowing marvelously and been the center of faith of many.

Rhythm Dhami

A deep-rooted person who has made an investigation of regular history since childhood or so - longer than I can recollect. An interest in wildlife has developed into wonder with all of nature, and an unquenchable interest to take in more..

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