River Ganga Current Affairs - 2020
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The Supreme Court has given its nod to Chardham Development Plan which connects the holy places of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath by all-weather roads.
What is the issue?
The construction of all weather roads in the environmentally critical zone of Himalayas was questioned in the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The National Green Tribunal had cleared the Chardham Project and had formed an oversight committee to monitor the environmental safeguards during the construction of the project.
This order was questioned in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court refused to stay the order of NGT and had asked the Centre to file its affidavit on a plea seeking a stay on the order of the NGT.
Significance of Chardham Yatra
As per Hindu traditions, Char Dham Yatra opens the gates of salvation by washing away all the sins. The term Chardham is believed to be coined by Shri Adi Shankaracharya, which means four abodes of God or Holy Destinations.
The Yatra begins from Yamunotri, then the pilgrims head to Gangotri, thereafter to Kedarnath and finally to Badrinath to complete the Chardham Yatra.
Yamunotri is the source of the sacred Yamuna River. According to Hindu Mythology, Yamuna was the sister of Yamraj and she was promised by Yamraj that whoever takes the holy dip in the Yamuna River will not be taken to Yamlok and they would attain salvation. Yamunotri is also the seat of Goddess Yamuna.
Gangotri i.e. Gomukh is the birth place of the Holy River Ganga. The stone on which King Bhagirath did meditation to bring Goddess Ganga to earth is located near Ganga Temple in Gangotri. A temple dedicated to Goddess Ganga is located in this pious area.
Kedarnath is one of the twelve jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and the temple is believed to be restored by Adi Shankaracharya.
Badrinath is considered as the most sacred among the four shrines and is located on the left bank of the Alaknanda River. The temple at Badrinath is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the protector and preserver of the divine Hindu Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva). It is also believed that Adi Shankaracharya got freedom from the process of reincarnation at Badrinath.
The Chardham Development Plan is the project of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
Tags: Alaknanda • Badrinath • Chardham Development Plan • Gangotri • Kedarnath
Germany has announced to provide soft loan of euro 120 million (Rs. 990 crore approximately) to India to strengthen sewage water treatment infrastructure in Uttarakhand in an effort to clean River Ganga under Clean Ganga Mission. German development agency GIZ also has prepared ‘Ganga Box’ aimed to target schools-going children and inform them about the river.
The proceeds from this soft loan will be used for project focusing on extension and replacement of sewerage system (around 360 kilometres) including complete house connection, construction of sewage treatment plants (STPs) of around 15 million litres per day (mld). The purpose of project is to reduce inflow of untreated waste water in River Ganga and, thus, to improve the water quality of the river. This project also includes construction of 13 sewage pumping stations.
Ganga book has been prepared on lines of ‘Danube Book’ when cleaning of European river was undertaken. This book will have information mythological, socio-cultural, economic importance about river and suggestions to avoid pollution, like not dumping plastic in water body. Its aim is to bring behavioural change of people towards Ganga River. Ganga book project has been piloted in government schools in Uttarakhand and it will be replicated in other states.