India election: How an Indian holy city is killing mighty Ganges
Gulf News – BOBBY NAQVI – May 4, 2014
Prof Tripathi said, in the last two decades pollution has become a secondary issue. “The main concern is whether in the coming decades water will flow in Ganga or not,” he said. “There is a continuous decrease in quantum and velocity of water. The total length of Ganga — from Gangotri in the Himalayas to Bay of Bengal — is 2,525km,” he said.
Reduced water flow, capacity and water quality are threatening the very existence of Ganga and the survival of 450 million people who live along the river basin, he warned. Compounding the problem are 44 existing and proposed dams and hydro projects on the river — a new 30km-long tunnel is being planned to divert the flow of Ganga by turning it underground. This will hugely reduce absorption of ambient oxygen into the river. Go to story
[The news article title is misleading. The author tries to assert that Ganges is seriously endangered by pollution in cities like Varanasi, where pilgrims bathe amongst corpses floating in the river and other filth and effluence from sewage. However, the professor quoted in the article states that the bigger danger is the damming and diverting of the river flow.
At one time five rivers flowed through Varanasi; now only Ganges is visible. Srila Prabhupada mentions that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Bindu Madhava temple circa 528 years ago. He does not mention whether other three rivers were then still flowing, but the river Sarasvati dried up long ago in the Mahabharata age.]
excerpt from purport, Chaitanya-charitamrita Madhya 17.86:
Bindu Madhava is the oldest Vishnu temple in Varanasi. Presently this temple is known as Veni Madhava, and it is situated on the banks of the Ganges. Formerly five rivers converged there, and they were named Dhutapapa, Kirana, Sarasvati, Ganga and Yamuna. Now only the River Ganges is visible. The old temple of Bindu Madhava, which was visited by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, was later dismantled by Aurangzeb, the great Hindu-hating emperor of the Mogul dynasty. In the place of this temple, he constructed a big majida, or mosque. Later, another temple was constructed by the side of the mosque, and this temple is still existing.