A river is a river only when water flows through it. Except during the monsoon, the Ganga fails this basic test.
This book shows you why. For seven years now, thethirdpole.net has been reporting on the state of the Ganga, the main river of the most crucial river basin in South Asia which directly supports over 400 million people.
This book is a compilation of the most important articles on thethirdpole.net on the Ganga, from the source to the sea. It explains how river has been turned into a toxic sewer, and how barrages, dams and irrigation channels have bled the remaining water dry.
It is an ugly chronicle of a river that was once beautiful and remains holy in the minds of millions. But restoring life to the Ganga is not rocket science. As explained through many reports in this book, what it needs is political will, a consequent enabling policy framework, and implementation.
The March 2017 assembly election results provide another chance to make this political will manifest. For the first time since the current Indian government took office in 2014, it has captured power in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, the two upstream states of the Ganga basin. For months, Uma Bharti, Union Minister for Water Resources, has been complaining of non-cooperation from the governments of these two states. She can no longer do so. It is time for her to deliver on her promise to have a clean Ganga flowing by the end of 2018.