Since its inception in 1985, the Ganga Action Plan has been one of the most ambitious river conservation plans in our country. Crores of rupees have been spent in the name of making the Ganga pollution free without any positive outcome. The river is rapidly getting converted into a drain. Increasing levels of various pollutants have made its water unfit to drink or even bathe. A serious institutional intervention is the need of the hour if the national river — and the symbol of our civilisation — is to be protected.
The GAP has not achieved its objectives. A sewage treatment capacity of 1,091 million litres a day is stated to have been created. But the plants do not work and the network of sewers is unconnected. The extent of improvement in water quality, commensurate with the money spent, is not known. Unfortunately, both the money and the Ganga water are going down the drain.