When the ancient Yamuna River in Delhi has reached a remarkable level of purity due to the absence of industrial pollutants in the last many days of India-wide lockdown, how can River Ganga show its sparkling clear waters to the nation?
Well, news has it that Ganga waters at Rishikesh and Haridwar have become very clean according to the observation made by BD Joshi, Environmental Scientist and Ex-professor at the Gurukul Kangri University. According to Joshi, it is after a long time that Ganga water has become good for achaman (ritual sipping) in Haridwar. Joshi also added that the cause behind cleaner Ganga water is a 500 per cent decrease in total dissolved solid (TDS), industrial effluent, dharmashalas, sewage from hotels and lodges.
On the other hand, Tanmay Vashishth, Ganga Sabha General Secretary, told TOI 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 been ushered by the lack of human activities as no pilgrims have been visiting the twin holy towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh.
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand PCB is keeping a tab on the quality of Ganga water. A PCB chief scientific officer SS Pal told TOI that the Ganga water in Haridwar is worth bathing in and good for drinking after necessary treatment. In Rishikesh, the water is good for drinking after disinfection.
Pal also said that the presence of sewage treatment plants (STPs) in Uttarakhand has also improved Ganga water quality.
Times of India, 3/2020