Don’t defecate near Ganga, says official

New Delhi, Jan 17 (IANS) A senior official on Tuesday urged people living along the Ganga not to defecate near the river so as to keep it clean.

“The (cleaning of rivers) is not a one-time activity. Just as we clean our house every day and try to keep it clean, we should treat our rivers similarly,” said U.P. Singh, the Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga.

Addressing a conference here, he referred to people who take bath in the river and defecate along its banks.

The National Mission for Clean Ganga comes under the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The Ganga, considered holy by Hindus, flows from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal.

Singh mentioned the crisis of availability of water, under ground and on surface, and emphasised the need to check water depletion in acquifers.

“There will not be any groundwater left in acquifers in Haryana by 2050 if we go by the current trend,” he said.

Sanjay Kundu, Joint Secretary in the Ministry, agreed: “The groundwater situation in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Daman and Diu is very critical due to indiscreet use of tubewells.”

Kundu listed a number of projects and policy measures which his ministry was taking to battle water pollution and provide water to dry regions.

“We are trying to amend the act related to inter-linking of rivers and settling a number of disputes,” he said.