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Probabilistic Approaches to Cleaning the Ganges in Varanasi to Attract Tourists

Batabyal, Amitrajeet and Beladi, Hamid (2018): Probabilistic Approaches to Cleaning the Ganges in Varanasi to Attract Tourists.

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Abstract

We study two probabilistic approaches to cleaning the Ganges river when the underlying goal is to use the cleanup to sustain tourism in Varanasi, India. The first approach models the idea that because resources are scarce and cleanup is costly, not all pollutants in the Ganges can be removed. Therefore, a cleaning agency first establishes a benefit-cost ratio rule and then it uses this rule to remove from the Ganges only those pollutants whose removal satisfies the ratio rule. In contrast, the second approach focuses on removing all pollutants from the Ganges but the emphasis now is on the frequency of cleanup given that pollutants accumulate temporally and hence water quality deteriorates over time. Finally, we compare and contrast these two approaches and discuss the connections between the two approaches and the sustainability of tourism in Varanasi.

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