A revered Hindu priest trained in hydraulics may be able to accomplish what the government of India has been unable to do for 20 years: clean up the River Ganges. After years of lobbying, Veer Bhadra Mishra has won permission to build an "advanced integrated wastewater pond system" near his temple in the holy city of Varanasi, relying on gravity -- rather than scarce electricity -- to carry polluted water to remote ponds for cleaning. The government's electric-powered treatment plants have long proved ineffective in a country where blackouts are common.

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