Anything which is useful to man or can be transformed into useful product or a useful thing can be referred as a resource. A natural resource is the resource is the resource obtained from nature. Natural resources forms the basis of entire life on this planet.
1.1 Types of Natural Resources
(i) Resources that are in unlimited quantity.
(ii) Resources that are not likely to be exhausted by human activity or their use.
Examples: Air, Water and Solar Radiations
(i) Resources that are in limited quantity.
(ii) Resources that are likely to be exhausted by human activities.
Can replenish themselves by quick recycling and replacement within a reasonable time.
Examples: Soil, Forests and Wild life.
Cannot replenish themselves by recycling and replacement.
Examples: Coal, petroleum, fossil fuel, Fire-wood.
The utilization of natural resources was small in early times due to less human population, absence of technology and abundance of resources.
But now due to population explosion, industrialization and urbanization, natural resources have undergone serious damage and destruction, as requirement of energy has increased manifold, Human beings needed more coal and minerals, so they started exploiting the earth.
Exploitation of natural resources and environmental problems are often global-level problems which are one of the most dangerous one as they are threatening the whole civilization. Only conservation of natural resources and sustainable management of it can protect our earth and its environment.
1.2 Pollution of Ganga
Ganga is a holy river and its source is Gangotri glacier. The Gangotri glacier is vast expense of ice, five miles by fifteen at the foot hills of Himalayas (1000ft) in north Uttaranchal. The Ganga runs its course of over 2500km. from Gangotri in Himalayas to Ganga Sagar in the Bay of Bengal.
There are many national and international organizations working towards protecting our environment. Example of this is the multicore 'Ganga action plan' started in 1985 to improve the quality of the water in Ganga. Coliform is a group of bacteria, found in human intestine but when it is present in water it contaminating the whole water. The major polluting industries nearby Ganga are the leather industries, especially near Kanpur, which use large amount of chromium and other chemicals and its toxicity kill fishes in large sections of river. Apart from the industries, one billion liters per day of raw of sewage is also poured into the Ganga. Inadequate cremation procedures contributes to a large number of partially burnt or unburnt corpses floating down the Ganga. These all activities effect the purity of river Ganga.