Dr. Manmohan Singh
Honorable, Prime Minister of India
Room No.148 B, South Block, Raisina Hill,
New Delhi-110 011 (India)
Honorable Prime Minister,
Rajeev Gandhi as Prime Minister of India in sorrowful atmosphere of country gave a heeling touch by declaring that he will initiate action to clean Maa Ganga in his first address to the Nation on TV. The Government provided funds.
Now, we congratulate you for taking great and historical decision to declare Ganges as National River and founding NGBRA under your supervision with eminent personalities from scientific as well as civil society.
We express our concern about declining the water quality and river flow in Ganges River as well as policy and planning for cleaning the Maa Ganga. The massive flow of industrial influents, urban waste as well as illegal mining into Ganges in different locations declining the water flow as well as quality. In destroying water quality and flow in river the mining activity will also impact significantly on the people’s right to access to water and livelihood.
The bio-diversity of river, it’s eco system as well as flow of the water of Ganges river is getting affected due to Illegal mining activities at the banks and into Ganges river. I would like to throw some light by an illustration, as heart works for flow of blood into human body and kidney purify that blood, in same manner; sands also work as heart and kidney for river body. It absorbs the heavy metals and purifies the water and it’s establishes it’s inflow. Due to illegal sand mining fishes and other aquatic species are likely to invisible from river which leads to the cause of increasing toxicity level of river water. Increased toxicity level and low flow in river would be the violation of human rights to food and water, as they will lose the access to the resources that sustain their major source of livelihood – agriculture.
Evictions to accommodate dams and industrialization will not only lead to irreversible environmental devastation and social upheaval – they will destroy a precious cultural heritage. The area like Valley of flowers and Nanda Devi reserve bio-sphere has been recommended to UNESCO as a threatened World Heritage Site on basis of unique bio-diversity and ecosystems, known as Ganges Valley Civilization, over 10,000 years old. The loss of these sites outweighs the comparably short term profits of sand mining being conducted without adequate environmental and social safeguards.
We are supporting the steps taken by you in founding NGBRA and provide sufficient fund to researchers and policy makers but there is lack of accountability of these research programmes. The desired GAP I & II results were miss due to lack of involvement of those who are living on banks of river i.e, common men and implementation of policy on grass root level. The results of GAP I & II revealed that, there is a need of implementation at gross root levels by involving common men and making the committees more favorable to common men feelings.
Many international and national climate change research claim degradation in ground water as well as water resources in 2035’s and 2085’s in India so, we should rethink and renovate the river basin planning. Since Ganges river basin is one of the largest river basin in India, so we need special planning and secure more involvement of Climate Change scientist, traditional protectors, devotees and well known administrators of integrity into NGBRA committee.
As a state party to International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, India, is duty-bound under international law to respect and protect human rights and environment. In the light of these obligations we are concerned about the massive expansion of illegal mining, industrial and urban effluents in Ganges River.
We therefore request you to:
· Immediate action for stoppage of industrial and urban wastes into Ganges River.
· Enforce a suspension on all new Hydro projects in Ganges river basin.
· Review the NGBRA committee and ensure for inclusion of the climate change scientists as well social working organizations in the field as a part.
· Facilitates an open and transparent review of the research projects and results.
· Undertake a social, human rights and environmental impact assessment of all Hydro projects being presently operated and planned on Ganges River.
· Declare Uttrakhand and Ganges basin (part of Uttrakhand) as eco fertile area.