“E-Flows Related Livelihood in the Ganga River: A Case Study of Tourism”

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Dr. P M Prasad

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences,

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur 208016 UP

Abstract:

River Ganga contributes to livelihood in India. She is personified as a Goddess and holds an important place culturally, among Hindus. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that bathing in the river water erases sins and facilitates the attainment of salvation or nirvana. Similarly, immersion of ashes of deceased ones in the river water not only keeps the soul of deceased in peace but places it in heaven. The River is also known for unique landscape and habitat for species which promote livelihood. Over the time period, exploitation of river resources by the inhabitants has imbalanced the flow related livelihood. Moreover, the river resources at certain stretches are at the verge of extinction. The proposed study focuses on the relationship between the river resources and livelihood. The study reveals that the Mega Pilgrimage Sites in the states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, during 2006-2010, have attracted 236.78 million pilgrims and generated revenue of Rs. 98921.07 crores.  The empirical study also provides suggestions to increase environmental flows (e-flows) in the river to promote livelihood. The primary survey indicates that the present flow conditions for tourism in Uttarakhand (Haridwar-Rishikesh) is ‘Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY)’ and in Uttar Pradesh (Kachhla Ghat-Bithoor) is ‘Livelihood activities are not economically feasible’. Hence, the study suggests that MSY shall be maintained in the desirable state to preserve river resources and promote livelihood.