Lockdown revelations: River Ganga water deemed fit for drinking

ON 04/13/2020 AT 05:51 AM

According to Joshi, it is after a long time that Ganga water has become good for ritual sipping in Haridwar adding that the causes behind cleaner Ganga water is a 500 per cent decrease in total dissolved solid (TDS), industrial effluent, sewage from hotels and lodges

River Ganga at Haridwar Photo: Stuti / Public domain

In light of the current lockdown scenario in the country, industries which regularly discharge effluents into the Ganga have been shut down too -- and so have many pollution-causing activities come to a halt like taking dips in the water or dumping waste in it.

According to observations made by BD Joshi, Environmental Scientist and Ex-professor at the Gurukul Kangri University, the Ganga river, flowing through Varanasi and Haridwar, has seen a significant improvement in water quality during the coronavirus lockdown.

Tanmay Vashishth, Ganga Sabha General Secretary, told that Ganga has never appeared this clean.

RK Kathait, State Pollution Control Board (PCB) regional officer said that there is a visible difference in the quality of Ganga water.

Apparently, this change has also been attributed to the lack of human activities as no pilgrims have been visiting the twin holy towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh.

An IIT-BHU professor also told that one tenth of the pollutants in the Ganga come from industries, nearby hotels and other sources. With all of these shut, the quality of water has improved by forty to fifty percent, which may even be fit for drinking. The waters which were murky and heavily polluted now showed clear signs of life - fish and other marine life could be clearly seen in the waters.

Furthermore, these areas also received rainfall in the past few weeks, as a result of which the water levels have climbed up.

And it’s not just the Ganga, even the Yamuna river has seen a significant improvement in water quality and quantity.

Images of clear Yamuna river, Himalayas as seen from Punjab are some of the pictures that are doing rounds in the social media with  a message – that pollution is manmade.

The lockdown has not just helped improve pollution and air quality index, it has also helped migratory birds and the marine life do better.