Thursday, January 22, 2009

When are We Going to See this on the Ganges?

Treehugger has this story about a Chinese project to clean up one of that country's polluted rivers: When last I remembered, the most polluted river in the world happened to be India's holiest - the Ganga. I remember Indian politicians from Indira Gandhi down claiming that they were going to clean it up. Forty years on, little, if anything, has happened other than ever louder claims being put forward as is done in India's Parliament and State Assemblies especially as far as the environment is concerned. My friend Mohan and I have discussed the sorry state of a much smaller "river" that runs through our home town - the Couum on this blog earlier.

I wonder if this is a time for the Govt of India to seriously get off their collective haunches and look at converting the filth that goes into the rivers into a valuable resource - which it most certainly is? The huge amount of sewage that goes out into India's rivers could be processed into biogas and used as a fuel and the slurry left behind processed into fertilizer. India imports crude oil as a fuel and also buys natural gas for its huge fertilizer industry. And the politicians have not bothered to look closer home for the resources that are directly available.

Hopefully, these days when the country keeps talking about competing with China, it would look at the better things that the Chinese are doing and not just emulate the worst that comes out of that country.


Mohanakrishnan B said...

The best post so far on your blog which is always chockful of interesting information. The PM as you well know has chaired another commitee for cleaning the Ganga a few months back. Somehow all these commitees remind me of some trains run by Indian Railways which steam out of the station at breakneck speed and then halt after a few minutes. You can wait for anything between a few minutes to a few hours before it gets going again. For the benefit of your readers here is a link to an interesting article on the effects of polluted water on male virility.

Mehul Kamdar said...


There are so many environmental factors that affect human health that it is really tragic that nothing is being done to address them. You would think that an educated man like Manmohan Singh would have done something right - he hasn;t and with his bad health now, he is poised to make way for Rahul Gandhi and yet another round of Congress boot-lickery.

I would add to the Indian Railways analogy in saying that at least the railways get you to where you are going - eventually. In the case of the government, the only place that India's politicians and bureaucrats go to is to their own seat cushions which they specialize in warming.

Mohanakrishnan B said...

I guess Im going to have eat some of my words,hopefully not with sewage from the Cooum.Times of India came out with an excellent article yesterday and I have based one of my posts `On Amusement Parks,Clean Energy & Carbon Credits` on it.India is not so backward after all though I would agree if you say that they are not organized and give in to brief bursts of creativity and activity.