Topic – Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Disaster and disaster management.
6) To hear the call of the Ganga, both political will and ethical responsibility are required. Analyze in the context of recent developments with respect to Ganga river. (250 words)
Why this question
Ganga is the largest and one of the most important rivers of India given the population it caters to and the extent of pollution and threats it faces. The govt recently allowed first inland vessel voyage across the river Ganga and it also has put forward a draft NRGB which aims at Ganga rejuvenation. In this context it is essential to look into these happenings and deliberate upon the same.
Analyze-here we have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts, and present them as a whole in a summary.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to dig deeper into the plight of the Ganga river and the recent developments associated with it in order to bring out why there is a need for both political will and ethical responsibility for saving the Ganga river.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the recent developments related to the Ganga river. E.g mention the recent inland voyage of PepsiCo container and also mention about the draft National River Ganga Bill 2018 (NRGB).
- Discuss briefly about the draft NRGB. E.g It has proposed the setting up of an armed ‘Ganga Protection Corps’, with the powers to arrest offenders who pollute it, to keep the river clean and help in its rejuvenation; The offences and penalties punishable under the draft NRGB include spoiling or defacing ghats or stairs or throwing any “offensive matter” in the river; stone quarrying, commercial fishing without permission, deforesting hill slopes or other sensitive areas, withdrawing groundwater for organised consumption through tube wells or industrial needs, among many others; These offences are punishable with imprisonment up to two years or fine of up to Rs 50,000.
- Bring out the lack of political will and ethical responsibility on part of the government and the people to preserve the Ganga river. E.g bring out the deficiencies in the draft bill- like the major issues are building barrages and diverting flow of the river, dredging to make way for inland waterways, hydroelectric projects that impact the flow and massive deforestation destroying the overall ecology. The draft doesn’t mention how these will be tackled etc; Instead of freeing the flow of the river, maintaining its flow regime, monitoring sewage disposal, checking the excess withdrawal of water, saving and increasing the forest cover, and revitalising the water bodies feeding into the rivers, river rejuvenation in most cases has been equated with riverfront development. Thus, it involves concretisation and encroachment of riverbanks and floodplains for commercial activities, and water diverted from other sources to create an impression that the river is still alive etc
Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. E.g As long as the river continues to be seen merely as an entity for extraction, its further concretisation and pollution will continue unabated. There is a need for the government as well as the civil society to take the responsibility and tackle the problem of river pollution upfront etc.