Thousands of people from all walks of life took to the streets across India recently to take a pledge to revive the country’s depleting rivers. Spiritual guru Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev conceived the campaign Rally for Rivers to draw attention to the rampant problem. But why is it essential to save rivers ?
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The dying rivers
Pollution & Sewage dumping: According to environmentalists, the dumping of millions of tonnes of sewage is killing India’s rivers and threatening the lives of thousands of poor people. Environmentalists say while India has over 300 sewage treatment plants, most are underutilised and poorly positioned. Similarly, industrial wastes, carcasses of cattle and other animals, coupled with flowers and other waste related to religious rituals and plastic bags pollute rivers and block the course.
Climate change: Climate change is also another threat to water supplies. With Himalayan glaciers, the source of many of India’s rivers rapidly receding, many rivers are dying. Erratic rainfall is yet another cause of concern.Why are dying rivers a cause of worry?
- According to estimates, 65% of our water needs are met by rivers
- Two out of three major Indian cities deal with water shortage. Many urban residents pay 10 times the normal amount for a can of water
- We consume water not just to drink or for domestic purposes. 80% of water is used to grow our food. Each person’s average water requirement is 1.1 million litres a year
- Flood, drought and rivers turning seasonal are increasingly leading to crop failure across the country
- Climate change is expected to cause deadly floods and drought within the next 25-50 years
Need of the hour
Sewage treatment :India faces major challenges related to river pollution due to multiple sources, especially industrial and untreated sewage in cities. We need to develop proper and effective treatment for domestic sewage system which is flowing into rivers in huge quantities.
Improve solid waste management :It has been observed that most of the solid waste ends up in rivers and water bodies. So, there is an urgent need to improve our solid waste management.