Q.53 (a) Discuss about the major programs that the Ministry of Environment. and Forests, Government of India, has initiated for saving major Indian rivers from pollution.

(b) Ganga has recently been declared the national river. Discuss, the
implication with respect to pollution of this river.

(a) Prior to year 1985, only few cities and towns had sewage treatment plants. Most of the sewage water of urban as well as rural areas was discharged directly into rivers resulting in their pollution, Importance of microbial treatment of sewage was then realised and more sewage treatment plants were established .

Stil, they are not sufficient due to increasing urbanisation and production of much larger quantities of sewage as compared to earlier days. Realising the importance of microbes in pollution control, the Ministry of Environment and forests has initiated development of sewage treatment plants under the National River Conservation Authority.

e.g., Ganga Action Plan (GAP) and Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) to save these major rivers of our country from pollution.

(b) The Ganga Action Plan (GAP) was a program launched in April, 1986 in order to reduce the pollution load on the river. A steering committee of the National River Conservation Authority reviewed the progress of the GAP and necessary correction.

Scientists and religious leaders have speculated on the causes of the river's apparent self-purification effect, in which water-bome diseases such as dysentery and cholera are eliminated by killing thin caused organisms. Thus preventing large-scale epidemics.

Some studies have reported that the river retains more oxygen than is typical for comparable rivers; this could be a factor leading to fewer disease agents being present in the water.

National River Ganga Basin Authority (NRGBA) was established by the Central Government of India, on 20th February 2009 Under Section 3(3) of The Environment Protection Act, 1986. It aiso declared Ganges as the National, river of India.