Religious Leaders Demand Ganges Clean-up


June 4, VARNASI, INDIA (HINDUSTAN TIMES) — Hindu Religious Leaders Lobby for Clean-Up of the Sacred River Ganga.

Hindu religious leaders banded together during the Magh-Mela 2006 in Allahabad to petition the government to clean up the sacred river Ganga. Collectively these sadhus, sanyasis, dandi swamis, and saints decided not to bathe in the Ganga because of the pollution and they wanted promises from the government to "ensure cleanliness of the Ganga" before the Ardh Kumbha Magh Mela 2007.

In a news release they explained, "Coordinator of Samiti Kamlesh Rai, Dandi Swami Vimal Dewashramjee Maharaj (president of Dandi Swami), Dandi Swami Bramhashram Jee Maharaj and Dandi Swami Shankarashram jee Maharaj of Hariyana, Narayan Guru and Shivkumar Shukla demanded that government should declare the Ganga as a 'national heritage'."

The religious leaders said, "The flow of the Ganga was stopped at Tehri dam and to ensure a smooth flow of the Ganga water, the Tehri dam authorities should release more Ganga water from the dam.

Millions of dollars had been spent for cleanliness of the Ganga, but in vain. The pollution is increasing in the Ganga day by day. Several factories and industries established in the adjoining areas of Ganga, are dumping waste water into the river.

If the government did not ensure cleanliness and adequate flow of Ganga water till Ardhkumbha Mela-2007 in Allahabad, they would launch a massive movement close on the heels of 'Go-Raksha Andolan'."

A convention was organized at Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi on May 16 to enhance public awareness of the problem.


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