Rivers of India are regarded sacred. Indian rivers have plenty of spiritual importance. Respected, worshipped, and cared for, these rivers form an integral part of every Indian life. Nothing progresses in their absence. They are as special as the Indian temples for a devotee. You can visit some of these rivers to understand what they imply to a common Indian man. The rivers of India provide irrigation, cheap transportation, electricity, and livelihoods for a large number of people. The river system of India also holds significance from a religious point of view still river pollution in India has now reached a critical point. Virtually every river system in India is now polluted to a great extent. A report by the scientists of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur, started that nearly 70 percent of river water in India is polluted. The pollution situation in our country is worse than that of some of the industrialized nations of Europe and America. The Ganga, the most sacred and important river of India, is regarded as the cradle of Indian civilization. The 2, 525 km long river begins
from Gangotri in the Himalayas and joins the Bay of Bengal, at Ganga Sagar.

Based on a report of the Central Pollution Control Board, despite river Ganges, considerable resilience as a self-purifying and fast-flowing river, its organic pollution load is significantly high. At Kanpur, 45 tanneries and 10 textile mills are the main sources of liquid wastes discharged into the river. The wastes contain heavy organic load and putrefied material. It discharges from the Barauni Oil Refinery and causes pollution along the long stretch of the main Ganga. Preliminary observations were made on the pollution of the river Kali and a limnological survey was made of the river with reference to fish mortality.

The main factories, which pollute the creek are sugar, distillery, tin, glycerol, paints, soap works, spinning, rayon, silk, and yarn. A major step to control and clean the river Ganga had been taken in the year 1984 when the Central Ganga Authority was established to implement the Ganga Action Plan. This plan has identified 27 cities and about 120 factories as points of pollution from Haridwar to Hooghly. Similarly, the Yamuna Action Plan has also been devised. But till now nothing substantial has come out and there’s a considerable way to go. A survey was carried out in 1965 along 21 km stretch of the river Gomti in the vicinity of Lucknow receiving 19.84 million gallons of wastes per day from pulp and paper factory, distillery and sewage.

Solution:

The best way to solve these issues is to prevent them. The first major solution in this context is the conservation of soil. Soil erosion can contribute to water pollution. So, if soil can be conserved we can prevent water pollution too. We can follow measures such as planting more trees, managing erosion in a better way and use farming methods that are better for the soil. In the same vein, it is also important to follow the right methods in disposing of toxic waste. For starters, we can use products that have lesser amounts of volatile organic compounds in them. Even in cases where toxic material like paints, cleaning supplies, and stain removers are used, they need to be disposed of in the right way. It is also important to look into oil leaks in one’s cars and machines.

It is said that leaked oil – even from cars and machines – is one of the principal contributors to water pollution. Hence, it is important to look at cars and machines, which run on oil, on a regular basis, to check them for any possible oil leak. It is important after work – especially in factories and production units where oil is used – to clean up the wasted oil and either
dispose of it properly or keep it for later use. Rivers are the backbone of human civilization! They provide us with fresh water which is helpful for various purposes such as drinking, cleaning, washing, etc. Without rivers, life will come to a halt. Rivers just keep on flowing without any stop. We humans exist because of rivers. We will never know the worth of rivers until they dry up. A drop of water is worth more than a sack of gold to a thirsty man.

An Old American Indian Proverb says :

Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish being caught, will we realize we cannot eat money!