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Sonia Phalnikar | Ideas

Cleaning up the Ganges

The river Ganges (Photo: cc/anarkistix

The holiest of India’s rivers, the Ganges, is also among the world’s dirtiest. The 2,500-kilometer (1,500-mile) Ganges in India is choking under industrial effluents, farm pesticides and other untreated sewage. Several attempts to clean up the river have failed in the past.

Now, the Britain-based Thames River Restoration Trust is starting a new initiative. It plans to work with communities living along the river to restore ponds to treat waste water. Villagers will be helped to adopt eco-friendly agriculture and encouraged to save some of the world’s rarest freshwater wildlife such as the Ganges river turtle, the Ganges river dolphin and the critically-endangered Gharial crocodile.

As part of the project, scientists from India will visit Britain to learn how the trust helped restore the River Thames, from almost biologically dead in the 1950s to one of the cleanest urban rivers in the world.

Date

September 6, 2011

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