Thursday, May 21, 2015

Clean Ganga & other projects - Are we following the right approach?

At the outset, I would like to congratulate all those who have come up with the noble initiatives of cleaning Ganga and other rivers, and wish them well. A National Mission for Clean Ganga has also been established. 

Yes, first-up, we need to get rid of the dirt, and garbage and what not that has already gotten into the rivers. 

The question raised by me is "Are we following the right approach?".  All our policies and initiatives related to water management focus on how to clean and manage good water and water sources like the rivers. But looking upstream, the prioritization would be better if we focus on "how to manage the garbage and dirty water". More often than not, the filth and dirt that are produced due to our everyday living (personal, economic etc.) is bound to be produced. If there were proper disposal systems in place, why would anyone let these wastes into the river? Do we have a proper waste-disposal system? 

As a practical expression of this approach issue, we have "Water Tax" for utilizing water supplied by the local bodies like panchayats. But we never talk about "Garbage Tax" which is more critical, and is an area that requires more investment for building and operating waste disposal units. Let's hope all the talk and brainstorming leads to a better future for our rivers, and ultimately ourselves. 

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