Ganga gets heavenly help: Satellites to now monitor pollution

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    Ganga gets heavenly help: Satellites to now monitor pollution | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

    India's holy river, Ganga, is all set to get heavenly help for its cleaning! Prime minister Narendra Modi led NDA government has now decided to use satellites for monitoring and controlling the pollution in severely polluted Ganga.

    The decision regarding using satellites was taken in a recent special joint meeting of the senior officials of the Union ministry of water resources, Ganga Rejuvenation, River Development and the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro). The meeting took place at the union cabinet few days ago.

    "Satellite monitoring would be done by Isro. Through satellites, we would be able to monitor untreated waste falling into river or any other source polluting river. For instance, wherever there would be sudden change in water colour at any place we would alert the local authorities of that particular area," a senior water ministry official told dna.
    The official explained that this would be nearly real time monitoring and thus would enable the main control room to immediately alert local authorities who would then be able to rush their teams for cracking down on erring units or address the source of pollution.

    The move is latest in series of steps that various ministries in the NDA government have been taking to use space technology. It also adds to the numerous measures that Water ministry led by cabinet minister Uma Bharati has been taking for cleaning of Ganga.

    Explaining further, the senior water ministry official said they required satellite help for several reasons.

    "Ganga over 2,000 kilometers long and therefore it is not possible to monitor every part of physically. Technology would definitely play a huge role in cleaning efforts. Further, there is a huge staff shortage everywhere – whether it is state authorities or central government. Thus through satellites we would have a focused approach and would be faster in taking decisions too," the senior official added.

    Recent decision of installing sensors at industrial unit to monitor industrial waste is also another example of the government adopting technology to control pollution.
    The decision to use satellites is a result of PM Narendra Modi encouraging ministries in the union government to increase their use of India's space technology for routine governance work and even special projects like Ganga.

    National river
    Ganga, which is often touted as India's lifeline and is also the country's national river, has significant economic, environmental and cultural value in India. Originating from Himalayas and flowing to the Bay of Bengal in east, Ganga travels for more than 2,500 km through the plains of north and eastern India. The Ganga basin – which also extends into parts of Nepal, China and Bangladesh – accounts for 26 per cent of India's landmass, 30 per cent of its water resources and more than 40 per cent of its population. To bathe in Ganga is considered holy by millions of Indians but due to severe pollution in the river, leave drinking even bathing in it is not considered safe these days.
     
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