[Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand (formerly Prof. G.D. Agrawal of IIT Kanpur) explains issue of Ganga on the 50th day of his fast. Swamiji started his fast on the 22nd June 2018 on Ganga Dussehra. After not getting any response to his two earlier letters to the Prime Minister dated 24th February 2018 and 13th June 2018, he wrote a third letter on the 5th of August 2018 which was sent through Sushri Uma Bharti ji to the PM Shri Narendra Modi.]
Gangaji –Quality and Needs
A1. Gangaji is a stream. The basic quality of the stream is to flow, if there is no flow, than there will be no stream. No lake or pond can be said to be Gangaji like behind 50-60 km of Tehri dam, 10-15 km behind the Srinagar-Alaknanda Dam, even 2-3 km behind the Maneri dam.
A2. The streams of Gangaji are flowing continuously streams due to the water supplied by the glaciers and mountainous waterfalls of the Himalayas and it is not seasonal or rainy Flows which increases or decreases as per climate.
A3. Gases like oxygen carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide etc. which are present in our atmosphere continuously joins the natural stream. If we disconnect the connection of atmosphere with stream, than it will not said to be a natural river.
A4 A stream is only said to be continuous flow if it is having all these aforesaid natural features along with three faces of river (base and both side banks) touching to land. It is clear that this condition exist only if there is no interference of humans over the river. In mostly critical cases this interference can be done as we do for making bridges.
A5 we all know that human civilizations born and developed in these river valleys. Water was not the only factor. Formation of soil and its transfer was also there. Continuous flow is most important for aquatic lives like hilsa, dolphins, turtles, crocodiles etc.
A6. For ecological and environmental nature of every river there should be proper bed connectivity, longitudinal and lateral connectivity and open-to-air.
If we study about Gangaji, we found that;
- Gangajal is not ordinary water – it contains amazing organisms to kill the pollution, diseases and foul odder killing properties.
- By interrupting the continuous flow of the river these organisms settles down or killed out in turbines.
- For the quality of the Gangaji it continuous flow is necessary.
- For defending the aquatic lives of the Gangaji, continuous flow is necessary.
- It is necessary that different quality holding water of Gangaji reaches up to GangaSagar. For which there should be minimum environmental flows in every place.
- The quality of Gangajal is not only measured by pH (acidity), DO (Dissolved Oxygen), BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand), TDS (Total Dissolved Solids), FC (Free Chlorine), TC (Total Chlorine). And not only measured by organisations like BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards), EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) or WHO (World Health Organization). We have to create new criteria for testing the water quality of river Ganga.
Gangaji And Hydropower
There was no Hydropower projects started in Uttarakhand upto 1960s. I was working for Rihand Hydro-power Project from 1954 to 1960 which was a concrete dam. Then I was appointed at central design directorate of Uttar Pradesh, where I came to know of the problems of Ganga-Yamuna due to hydropower. At beginning of 1961 I resigned this service of Uttar Pradesh and joined as a professor in IIT Kanpur. By leaving the subject of Irrigation and Hydropower, I was known to be an environmentalist.
In 1978 Maneri Bhali Project was starting on Bhagirathi, main tributary of Ganga. Unfortunately I got chance as Production planning expert for 15 days in this project. I wish I had opposed it by comparing the effect of that project on Bhagirathi. Maneri Bhali was a tunnel project which killed the continuous flow of Bhagirathi and damaged the Ganga. Now the second stage of Maneri Bhali has also been completed. Now the stream of Bhagirathi is visible only at ghats of Uttarkashi (2-3 kilometers), which was about 150 kilometers earlier. Else it is captured by tunnels or lakes. If all the proposed and under construction dams will be completed, then what will happen???
Purity – Quality – calmness - cleanness of Gangaji
- According to a research of D.S.Bhargav, the ability of Ganga Jal to reduce BOD is 10 – 25 factors more than ordinary water.
- According to study of NEERI Gangajal has the unique quality to kill coliform.
- According to research of Dr. S. Mayilraj from IMT Chandigarh, Gangajal is capable of killing 20 species of harmful bacteria.
Hence, killing harmful bacteria is the original capability of Gangajal and restoring this capability of Gangajal will be called Ganga rejuvenation.