Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani on Sunday expressed concerns over the increasing level of pollution in the river Ganga, saying it was claiming more lives than those caused by bomb blasts.
In his latest blog posting, Mr. Advani quoted Swami Chidananda Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, to argue that the pollution in Ganga was a serious matter.
“Today most people do not realize that nearly a million people living along the banks of the Ganga die each year due to illnesses caused by its polluted water...”
“A few dozen people dying in bomb blasts in India becomes big news worldwide, and rightly so. But the tragic deaths of many people, who are dependent on the Ganga, go unnoticed even in India. We must change this,” he said, quoting Swami Chidanand.
“Ganga is languishing in such polluted state that people hesitate to bathe in her waters even in Kashi. This is caused by reckless and ill-planned industrialization and urbanization, made worse by lack of elementary civic facilities in towns and villages along it,” Mr. Advani observed.
In the upper reaches of the river, hydro-electric projects have caused considerable damage to the Ganga and its natural ecology, leading to drying up of long stretches of the river-bed and depriving the nearby villagers of their main source of water, he said.
Suggesting measures to clean the river, the BJP leader quoted Swami Chidanand, “We must launch a mission, which I call the 3-T Mission -- toilet in every home, tap in every home bringing clean water, and tree-plantation on a massive scale in every village and town.”
“Millions of Indians abroad would be inspired if India takes up this comprehensive Ganga Mission. They would even be willing to make generous contribution to this project,” Mr. Advani said on his blog, quoting Swami Chidanand.