| Residents clean Kali Ghat near Darbhanga House in Patna on Tuesday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
At least 100 people assembled at Kali Ghat near Darbhanga House of Patna University early on Tuesday morning to clean the ghat as part of the “Ganga Safai Aandolan”.
They also had a discourse on their action plan to achieve the goal of making the river clean. Forest, environment planning and development minister P.K. Shahi, the chief guest, hailed the initiative.
“The Ganga is related to the cultural heritage of this country. It is the lifeline of this country but the way the pollution in this river is increasing everyday is quite alarming. Many people’s livelihood is dependent on this river. Today (Tuesday), we started the Ganga Safai Aandolan to address this issue,” said Yogesh Chandra Verma, convener, Ganga Safai Aandolan, who is also the president of Patna High Court Advocate’s Association.
He added: “As part of this campaign, we would take many measures. For example, everyday we would assign one person to clean at least one ghat of the city in the morning. Besides, we would also start a mass awareness campaign. We will also ask the residents not to pollute the river by throwing stuff like puja material and other things. We are also going to put a dustbin at all the major ghats in the city soon.”
“The city’s untreated waste is being disposed in the river. There are 172 drains in the city and all of them lead to the river, making it highly toxic. What is adding to the pollution is the disposal of bodies and immersion of the idols in the river in addition to the disposal of the bio-medical waste from the different hospitals. We would tell the effects of all these things to the people. I am sure this would bring about a difference,” added Verma.
Shyam Chandra Banshi, a social activist, who also joined the campaign on Tuesday, said: “The best thing which I found today (Tuesday) was that this campaign got support from people of different backgrounds. Fishermen, priests, flower sellers, professionals — all were part of this campaign, which is something great.”
Shahi said: “No movement is successful without mass support. This initiative would go a long way and it would show very good results.”