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World Environment Day: Fish in the Ganga vanishing

Jun 05, 2012 09:35 AM IST India India
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Haridwar: On World Environment Day, CNN-IBN focuses on 'Saving the Ganga', a 45-day campaign that highlights how the sacred river is dying despite thousands of crores of rupees being spent to save it.

At the temple town of Haridwar lies the Samadhi of Swami Nigamananda, a man who gave up his life to save the Ganga. Nigamananda was on a 100-day fast, fighting a lone battle against stone crushers and illegal mining mafia operating on the river. At the Samadhi now sits another holy man.

Ganga Activist in Haridwar GD Aggarwal, a retired professor from IIT Kanpur, who has now taken 'sanyas' and has become Swami Gyan Swarup, insists this is a do or die quest to free 'Maa Ganga' from the multitude of problems choking her.

Even the fish that were once abundant in the Ganga are now depleted. Prakash Nautiyal, who has been studying the mahseer is worried about the rapid decline of the mahseer fish.

Fish scientist at the Garhwal University Dr Prakash Nautiyal said, "I can give you an example of Lantana. It spreads and it spreads in disturbed ecosystems and similarly in water, invasive species will be coming up here. There may be more cat fish and more scavengers which will roam in these waters."

To bring back more fish to the Ganga, the government started captive breeding in fish ponds.

The mahseer has faced an almost 70 per cent decline in population. CNN-IBN left Haridwar with the hope that this mahseer of the Ganga, is able to thrive once again in the waters.