The City, the River and Public Health

A discussion on urban sanitation and rejuvenation of the Ganga

Regional Media Workshop

for radio, print, television and online media journalists
from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar

October 17-18, 2019, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Our rivers sustain us and our cities. But do we really understand this symbiotic relationship? If we do, why are our rivers – and the Ganga remains a prime example – still under threat? In May 2019, the Central Pollution Control Board had declared that Ganga’s water was absolutely unfit for "direct drinking".

India is on an overdrive to end open defecation. Millions of toilets have been built – in urban India itself, close to six million have come up under the Swachh Bharat Mission. It is an incredible feat.

What is missing is a clear plan on how to safely dispose of the excreta and waste which these millions of toilets will generate. Cities along the Ganga and in the river basin need proper and effective septage and faecal sludge management systems. Without such systems, massive loads of this waste will find their way into the river – and the Ganga will continue to run polluted and dirty.

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) invites journalists from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar to a media briefing in Varanasi to discuss this subject. The briefing will focus on the current state of the river, the efforts being made towards its clean-up, and water and septage management systems which could provide the answers that we are looking for. A field trip would also be organized in the course of the briefing.

CSE will support the travel and stay of selected outstation participants. Participating journalists would be encouraged to report on and cover the briefing and its proceedings. To apply, please write to the undersigned with complete details. All applications should reach us by October 6, 2019.

Sukanya Nair, The CSE Media Resource Centre, / 8816818864.