Silvia Cohn is a second year student in the Macaulay Honors program at Hunter College, CUNY. Her intended major is Environmental Studies with a concentration in management and policy. She has done several years of volunteer work and internships in the field.
The Ganga River is one of the largest rivers in the world. It has important cultural significance since it is considered sacred in the Hindu tradition. It runs through India and Bangladesh with tributaries that spread outward into other parts of Asia. Since ancient times, many people (now living in densely populated areas) have relied on this river for their daily needs. As a result of the industrial revolution, the Ganga River has worked its way up to being one of the world’s most polluted rivers. The Ganga Action Plan (GAP) was launched in 1986 as an initiative to protect the river. This study will explore what lead to this environmental disaster and why GAP was unsuccessful.
Key words: river, Ganga, Ganges, India, Bangladesh, trans boundary, water use, pollution, effluent, regulation, Ganga Action Plan