It is no irony that in English the word river rhymes with giver as without rivers upon Mother Earth life would be void. The word for river in Sanskrit is nadī and this is the same word for the channels (called meridians in traditional Chinese medicine) that run through our very body. So the very body of our beloved earth is a macro of our human Prakrti.
In Vedic times rivers were protected by kings who upon advise of the Rishis, munis and elders and wisest people of the society, took care of such natural resources so they would never become polluted or destroyed. But in the so called modern India which is really a free for all and who is most corrupt, has most money and least connection with God can dominate like some young child playing in a shop of most fragile items.
We think polluting our rivers has little consequence but we can not see the perfect circle of life that everything is connected, and that same river outside represents a river within. Sadly both have become polluted now, the one outside with waste and that within with junk food and junk thinking.
Still today the Ganges, the Yamuna, the Bagmati the countless other sacred great rivers are worshiped but in ignorance people realize not what they are doing. Of course the act of sanctifying a river is great but the prayer has little consequence if you do not acknowledge this river is festid with every kind of pollution and you one by one stop this pollution. When the great songs were made to Ganga or Yamuna, they were fertile, full of water and their water was as pristine as rains from the heavens. But today water has become something to destroy, because no one is speaking for the water any more, it has lost its voice. All the Vedic kings have gone and the Rishis and Munis have retreated to the forests and snow capped peaks as no one is ready to listen to them anymore.