Ecorestoration of Assi River, Varanasi
Varanasi is very ancient city situated on the banks of the holy river Ganga. Ganga has been a cradle of human civilization since time immemorial. It is one of the most sacred rivers in the world and is deeply revered by the people of this country. Ganga is lifeline of India as around 50% of India’s population is surviving in the basins and sub basins of Ganga.
Pollution of this sacred river is a major issue of concern and the Indian Government is proposing many corrective measures to deal with it. It has been observed that the pollution of Ganga shows multifold increase as it leaves Varanasi city. Studies on pollution of Ganga, by different agencies indicates that the domestic wastewater flowing through different big and small drains, in the catchment of the River is major source of pollution of this sacred river. Hon. Prime Minister of India has started “Namami Ganga”, a very ambitious flagship project to bring people to the river and change the present condition of Ganga through awareness, technical inputs and finances.
Assi river is a small river with mythological importance which originates in Varanasi and confluences with Ganga at Assi Ghat in Varanasi. The stretch of the river is around 4 to 5 km. Transverse through densely populated area of the city, Assi river is a major contributor of pollution of the River Ganga in Varanasi
During the survey before installation of Green Bridges, it was observed that –
- Assi river originates in Varanasi and confluence with Ganga River, near Saint Ravidas Park, in Varanasi only. It has total 5 to 6 km stretch in the city
- Assi River is a major source of pollution of the Ganga.
- While flowing through the densely populated area of the Varanasi city Assi river collectsdomestic wastewater from settlements along the banks.
- As per discussion with local authorities, Assi river meets Nagawa drain, one of the bigdrains in the city, before confluence with Ganga River
- Width of the river varies from 3.67 m to 8.5 m while water depth varies from 0.6 to 1m.
- There is no ingress of industrial wastewater
- Assi river is not Channelized but a retention wall is constructed at many places to avoidflooding in the houses very close to the banks of the river.
- There is a wastewater pumping station near the confluence of Assi with Ganga
- It is observed that due to discharge of sewage and municipal solid waste anaerobic pockets are created in the stream. Due to this anaerobic degradation Assi river water quality is deteriorated and it supports Mosquito breeding. Foul smell observed due to impounding of wastewater and open defecation.
- receives lot of dirt, organic matter and municipal solid waste from all small drains
Objectives of Ecorestoration of Assi river projects –
- Ecological and economical restoration of water quality of polluted Assi river flowing through Varanasi City and finally confluences with Gangaji (River Ganga)
- To reduce the bad impact on health of people whose source of drinking water is Gangaji
- Use of ecologically corrected water for agriculture or other non-consumptive uses.
- Control of Gangaji pollution effectively and consistently without the use of electricity,machinery and chemicals
- Ecological and economical improvement of water quality of the river leading to improvementin the socio economic status of the surrounding area.
- Increase in biodiversity and agricultural ecosystem along the selected river
- Improvement of ambience and greenification (Green Aesthetic looks)
- Control of odour and mosquitoesThe site for Ecological Restoration of polluted River using Green Bridge Technology can be selected on the basis of land use, accessibility.