Taking the dialogue on cleaning River Ganga a step forward, two IITs — at Kanpur and Banaras Hindu University (BHU) — have joined hands to hold a two-day programme to discuss the responsibilities of various stakeholders.
The programme will be held at IIT-BHU on July 19 and 20, while a preparatory meeting will be held at Kashi Vidyapeeth on July 18 to spread awareness about the two-day meet.
Saints, seers and members of the civil society have been invited to be part of the programme, where the blueprint for responsibilities that could be taken up by various stakeholders is likely to be prepared.
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Prof Prabhat Kumar Singh from BHU’s civil engineering department, who is the coordinator of the two-day programme called ‘Kashi Kumbh’, said: “This is not a programme to discuss the current situation of Ganga or the reasons behind its pollution or the impact it may have on the population in the long run. All these issues have been documented, discussed and debated since long. We want to move towards the next step, where the stakeholders take responsibility for cleaning the river in their respective areas.”
For instance, added Prof Singh, there was the issue of preventing people from throwing puja paraphernalia or disposing bodies or ashes into the river.
“We will discuss it with the saints and seers, as to what their expectations are and how they can contribute in this regard,” said Singh.
The programme will begin with presentation of the recommendations made by the consortium of seven IITs, which was formed to evaluate the pollution scenario in the river and suggest solutions. “We will be providing the technical input and seek solutions from the civil society and other stakeholders to ensure that actual, proactive steps are taken towards alleviating the pollution menace,” he said.
Singh added that this programme was different from Ganga Manthan organised by the government early this month to thrash out issues related to cleaning of the river, one of the priorities of the new government.
“This is purely an initiative of the two IITs, but it aims to take things forward,” he added.
Magsaysay awardee Rajendra Singh, also known as India’s waterman and representatives from his organisations Tarun Bharat Sangh and Ganga Jal Biradari would represent the civil society at the meeting.
Swami Avimukteshwaranand, disciple of Shankacharya Swami Swaroopananda Saraswati, Pranav Pandya of Gayatri Parivar and Swami Chidananda Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan, among others, will represent the seers.