The Ganga Sabha, a body of priests in Haridwar which oversees the main Har-ki-Pauri ghat, has opposed the district administration’s proposal to install a monitoring system that will display the purity of the water in the Ganga river at the ghat. “This is an unnecessary exercise since Ganga water is perennially pure,” Ganga Sabha president Purushottam Sharma Gandhiwadi.
According to the proposal, instruments will be installed to gauge water quality and the parameters will be displayed on two screens at Har-ki-Pauri ghat and Sarvanand ghat so that people can see whether the water in the river at a given time is good enough for drinking or for taking bath. The district administration, however, said that the intention behind the proposal, which was sent to the state government, is “to allay any confusion regarding the water quality in the Ganga at Haridwar.”
According to district magistrate Deepak Rawat, the administration is planning to implement the proposal to install a system to monitor Ganga water quality at the ghats on a pilot basis. A detailed plan in this regard will be worked out and sent to the government for approval. Also, plans for other projects for the 2021 Haridwar Mahakumbh have been sent to higher authorities for approval.
Gandhiwadi said, “The administration’s plan is an insult to the sacred river and an attempt to hurt the sentiments of the people. Instead of taking steps to clean the Ganga under the much hyped Namami Gange project, the government wants to propagate the river’s impurity.”
Former MLA Ambarish Kumar said he is “more concerned about treatment of the disease (Ganga pollution) than about its diagnosis and publicity. “The monitoring system, if installed, will cause damage to people’s faith, which nobody would like to do. Our purpose should not be to expose the reality of Ganga pollution, but to do what we can to prevent pollution,” said Kumar.