There are enthusiastic news emerging from different sections of the administration about the grand plans of developing the ghats and banks of the river Ganges. The administration seems determined to push the ambitious projects, developers and contractors cheerful about the new contracts and people happy about the developments in almost stagnant landscape of myself. There are plan for Ganga driveway which would run beside the river Ganges, several clusters would be developed around it and my people has been informed to witness a 'New Marine Drive' in the locality. A number of ghats will be renovated and new facilities would be added up to make them more tourist friendly. Hundreds of crore rupees are expected to be poured in these projects to re-energize the almost dead banks of the holy river.
So far, so good. But, wait - are we missing something amid all these grand plans? Something that is very important for me and my people. Authorities seems ignorant, lest they are pretending so. But shall I also close my eyes like them and turned my gaze towards the glittering aspect of these projects? Who will let them know that river is more important and not the riverfront, driveways and the ghats? When the river is itself polluted, how can one expect the renovated ghats could bring people. Does any one like to visit place adjoining any city canals?
There are absolutely no doubt that the expressways, ghats etc. are important from the development perspective. But ignoring the river Ganga completely is equally disturbing. Let us not cheat ourselves. Aren't we aware of the level of pollution in the river Ganga that passes by the city? Is the river water fit for drinking or bathing to the accepted level? Definitely No !! Millions of liters of untreated waters are finding there way in the river. Tonnes of garbage which includes plastic, household wastage, sewage etc. from the city itself is being drained into the river, mostly untreated or partially treated. The situations has so much worsen that if any unknown person happens to visit the city and travel from Kurji More to Gandhi Maidan via Rajapul, he will surely smell the stinging foul coming from the river side. The smell is not from the river Ganga, but a parallel canal that carries the sewage of the city in the river bed adjoining the road. This canal meets the main course of the river near Collectariat Ghat, and the administration has ambitious plans to develop these ghats, starting from Collectariat Ghat till the ghats in Patna City !! Will the proposed driveway along the river enhances my image or diminishes it? There are virtually no talk of the sewage treatment plants renovation or plans for the effective treatment of the used water from the households and the small industries. Just because river Ganga is an interstate river, the city administration can not wash off its hand from its involvement in further polluting the river.
It really makes me sad that we barely cares about the natural treasures we have been endowed with, but fantasies about the new developments which in turn could harm that treasure itself. There is need to give more importance to the river Ganga than to the number of projects besides it.