Former Indian Army Chief General (retired) Vijay Kumar Singh on Tuesday participated in the Ganga Sansad (a campaign) to protect the holy river from pollution and encroachments, as part of the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Allahabad.
Once every 12 years, tens of millions of pilgrims stream to Allahabad from across India for the Mahakumbh Mela, at the point where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers meet with a third, mythical river Saraswati.
The campaign to raise awareness about the Ganges comes nearly after the Centre decided to tag Ganga as a C-grade river, because of ever-increasing pollution.
Singh said that there have been several discussions regarding the same.
"The primary aim of the Ganga Sansad at the Maha Kumbh is to ensure that the Ganga becomes pollution-free and there have been several discussions regarding this," Singh said on Tuesday.
It was in October when the centre's inter-ministerial group sought to classify Ganga as a 'C' category (poor) river.
The categorisation has been proposed to be done in view of a report submitted by IIT-Roorkee, which found that 84% of the water flow in the river will either be diverted into tunnels or reservoirs because of more than 100 hydro-electric power projects proposed on the river in Uttarakhand.
"Ganga is ours, it is our future, it is our life and it is our pride," said Prem Puri, a sage.
The pollution of the River Ganga has been a major concern for environmentalists and Hindu ascetics as well who regard the river as holy. (ANI)