India’s Ganges river is the primary supply of water for half a billion individuals. It’s additionally holy to the nation’s nearly 1 billion Hindus, who bathe within the river to be cleansed of their sins and consider that if a physique is cremated and launched into the water at Varanasi it could actually escape the cycle of reincarnation.
But the river’s cleaning talents are restricted by the truth that the Ganges is among the world’s most polluted waterways: A billion gallons of uncooked sewage and industrial waste at the moment pour into it every single day.
The Indian authorities’s most up-to-date initiative to deal with the air pollution downside, Namami Gange, was introduced in 2014 and promised $three billion in funding. So far, it has yielded only a few outcomes, and a 2017 investigation concluded that simply $205 million had been spent.
Still, the federal government has launched some fairly outlandish plans, together with breeding hundreds of flesh-eating turtles to take care of the 200 tons of half-cremated, decomposing our bodies that enter the river at Varanasi yearly, and commissioning an official pop anthem for the river to awaken patriotic sentiment.
With a rising scandal on its fingers, Narendra Modi’s authorities is scrambling to complete deliberate Ganges tasks earlier than the 2019 normal elections. But environmental scientist and campaigner Rakesh Jaiswal stated he hasn’t seen any change to this point. “The state of affairs is worsening, and within the final 24 years I’ve seen no enchancment in any respect,” he advised VICE News.