The word of caution by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the deteriorating condition of the river Ganga speaks volumes about the pathetic situation. But despite being aware of the difficult circumstances it is hard to understand as to why was the meeting of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) called so late? Established in 2009, this is the third meeting of the NGRBA. It is to be noted that the government was forced to call the meeting after some members of the NGRBA resigned and a fast unto death was called by some people. A message was sent across that the Centre along with the states is least bothered about the restoration of the river. The fact revealed by the Prime Minister that 29000 lakh litres of contaminated water is disposed off in the river every day is alarming. However the prime Minister had written to state governments asking them to forward a proposal for sewage treatment plants and clarified that funds will not be a restraint. It’s a known fact that crores of rupees have been misused in the name of setting up such plants. Ganga in some regions has become so polluted that the water is not even fit for agriculture. What is worrisome is that the same methods are being used again to clean the Ganga that earlier proved to be a disappointment.

It is disheartening that the people sitting at the helm of affairs seem least bothered in implementing new techniques to save the river. Working according to the old model will mean wasting crores of money again. Why isn’t the government ready to accept the reality and adopt new methods for its restoration? There is doubt that the pollution control boards of the Centre and the states will take any concrete action against those factory owners who are guilty of disposing pollutants into the river. More so as despite being marked by the government these factories are polluting the river unabated.  Though the pollutant released by the factories into the river is only 20 percent but it is fatal. Such instances only points towards ineffective pollution control boards. To bring about a change in the situation a strong political will is required.