Plantation will be done on both sides, all through the river’s 1,140 km long stretch in UP.

 

While the Centre is pushing hard to clean river Ganga, the Uttar Pradesh government will start a new drive next month onwards to secure its banks from erosion.

As part of this drive, massive plantation will be done along one km area on both the sides, all through the river’s 1,140 km long stretch in UP, so that the damage to its banks could be minimised. Trees have the capacity to hold soil, which in turn, help check erosion of the soil.

In the last few decades, Ganga has seen massive erosion of its banks, which has affected the flow of water. At many places, water has become scarce while isolated spots full of soil have developed all along the river. The total length of the river is 2,525 km.

The drive, named “Ganga Haritima”, will be carried out in full force from the next month when the rainy season starts, with the help of environmentalist Mike Pandey, who is UP’s brand ambassador for environment, wildlife and conservation. Pandey is also a national award-winning wildlife filmmaker. He has been roped in by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for creating awareness about the campaign. “This is a scientific intervention to check soil erosion. The green belt along the banks will not only check soil erosion, but also provide greenery and shadow. It will also provide immense economic opportunities to the farmers, who can earn by planting economically-beneficial trees. The Ganga Haritima Abhiyan will restore the pristine glory of the Ganga and help reverse the damage and pollution caused by human activities,” Pandey told The Sunday Guardian.

He said Ganga is a life force, which gives livelihood and living environment to more than 50 crore Indians and is the true symbol of the country’s democratic and all-inclusive character. He said that in the capacity of a brand ambassador, he is trying to create awareness and sensitise people for a successful implementation of the campaign.

When asked how much time it would take to develop the green belt along the banks, he said it might take at least one year. Replying to a query on whether other state governments like Bihar and West Bengal would also launch similar campaigns in their respective states, Pandey said he had approached officials in these states and they were quite excited about the idea. Pandey is also working on a Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary at Katernia Ghat (along the Nepal border) to conserve critically endangered flagship species of the Gangetic riverine ecosystem. At present, fewer than 1,300 blind Gangetic dolphins are left.

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