The rising temperature has taken a toll on the river Ganga in Varanasi as patches of sand are visible in long stretches in midstream after the water started drying up.
Despite relevant efforts taken by the Centre, including the approval of a number of projects worth nearly Rs 4,000 crore by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) as part of Ganga rejuvenation programme earlier this year, the condition of the holy river is deteriorating raising concerns for experts.
"Dams built on Ganga's headstreams in Uttarakhand, canals built along the river, water supply to other states and its exploitation are root causes behind the condition of river Ganga today. We'll have to work seriously. If nothing is done now, then soon it will become a lake. Around 45 crore of the total Indian population is dependent on river Ganga," river expert Dr B.D. Tripathi told ANI.
Earlier this month, Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari inaugurated a workshop on "Ganga and its Biodiversity: Developing a roadmap for habitat and Species Conservation" and emphasised on the need of an integrated approach to clean Ganga.
However, experts believed that the central government needs to think practically on the issue and not just spend money via different schemes.
"What will the government do with 1000s of crore if there will be no water left in river Ganga? The water of Ganga is being misused. That's why the river is drying up. Nobody can save river Ganga if the situation remains the same," Dr U.K. Chaudhary, retired professor of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), told ANI.
"The Centre doesn't wish to understand the scientific reason behind this. Minimum of 6000-7000 cubic feet per second of water should flow in Ganga in Varanasi. Currently, the flow is around 4000 cubic feet per second. Ganga will dry up completely in the next 30-35 years in Varanasi," Chaudhary added.
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