08 Aug 2014
Taking crowdsourcing from campaigning to governance, the Narendra Modi Government‘s latest initiative, the MyGov site calls for suggestions on cleaning the Ganga.
Seeking to bring about a radical change in the condition of the river, the Modi government is seeking to accumulate ideas and responses from the biggest stakeholders – the people of India through the ‘Clean Ganga’ initiative on MyGov.
Since the launch, the group has already garnered 18,000 plus members going about on 9 tasks listed- from preparing roadmaps for the Government to conducting fieldwork.
The responses of members as how to attract more tourists and as yet keep Ganga clean is tremendous. From suggesting beautification of the river sides and maintaining cleanliness during the festive days saw maximum votes to keeping commercial areas at a little distance from the river banks the members said it all. There was also suggestion of connecting MNREGA to Ganga cleanliness project where daily wage workers clean the Ghats. Also there was a suggestion to have segregation trash bins to make the tasks of the cleaners easy. There was demand from almost all the members to strictly punish those who do not follow the rules and pollute the river.
There was also a suggestion to make a single platform for people to perform religious ceremonies and put a fishing net at some distance around that platform to easily pull out the offerings thrown in the water by the people. The other suggestion was to plants more trees around the river bank and also plant medicinal herbs. Naturally all wanted that disposal of contaminated water from industries into Ganga should be stopped with immediate effect.
The suggestions about proposed waterways and similar initiatives to enhance tourism as well as keep the river clean showed how thoughtful people are about the Ganga. Some members suggested that there should be a separate task-force for every 100 km. Also some wanted that Ganga be classified into various zones like highly polluted, medium polluted, etc. Many members request that there should be eco-ethno parks along the banks of the river alike Sentosa Island Singapore where temples along the river Ghats nurture the nature and also be places where video and photo exhibitions are held to attract tourists.
Few members also suggested installation of CCTV on the Ghats and people caught polluting the river be gifted book on Ganga and how its pollution is harmful to all. Also there was a suggestion from the members to boost water transport with little development of infrastructure and then use boats to clean the river. One suggestion was also to decongest the river alike old city streets. The member suggested that just the way old streets are decongested by creating flyovers, and bypasses, we need to create CITY BYPASSES for Ganga, keeping the main stem pollution free, and allowing for City Stream to be used for daily chores. The water from City Stream to be carried by main stem only after treatment and filtration (just as we do not allow cyclists on highways!)
Most of the members believed that there sure is a larger need to integrate all stakeholders when it comes to cleaning Ganga. The proposed ways to integrate all stakeholders by the members are:
- A Plan is definitely needed, to execute any Program, particularly a humongous and complex program like cleaning of Ganga. But the Plan needs to address the following key stakeholders - City Infrastructure, Religious Sentiments and Impact on Environment in cleaning up Ganga.
- First of all industrial waste must not flow in the river. There should be some environmental checklist before setting up an industry with hefty fines.
- Central planning is required to provide the overarching direction and set milestones. But involving local stakeholders is also equally important. For centuries two traditional communities have depended on the river for their livelihood: fishermen and boatmen. They can be empowered to provide ground level feedback to the central agency to ensure effective monitoring and resource utilization.
If you are also passionate about the River Ganga and want to make a real difference to cleaning of the river please login at MyGov, take part in the discussion and undertake the tasks assigned.
You can join this Group, if you are signed in!!