“Gangajal turns murky with pollution” by Times of India
Gangajal turns murky with pollution
The Times of India
September 22, 2011
The water of the Ganga was perceived as holy but not any more. With time and increased human intervention, the sacred Ganga has become impure. The pristine water of the Ganga has been replaced by polluted water. All forms of pollutants, including mortal remains of human beings, are released into the river.
A report of the Central Pollution Control Board presents the water quality of the Ganga for a decade spanning between 1999-2008. According to the report, the Ganga basin accounts for a little more than one-fourth (26.3%) of the country’s total geographical area and is the biggest river basin in India. To study the water quality of the Ganga, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had set up 39 water quality monitoring stations on the main river and 102 stations on its various tributaries in 2008/09.
It is observed that biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) complies with the standard only at Garhmukteshwar and Narora and also shows decreasing trends in these locations. Except for Kanpur down stream, where BOD shows a marginally decreasing trend, BOD in rest of the locations shows increasing or marginally increasing trends. The dissolved oxygen (DO) complies with the standard at all locations. However, no trend is observed at Kannauj up stream (u/s), Bithoor, Kanpur up stream, Allahabad (Rasoolabad), and Allahabad down stream. At Kannauj dowm stream, marginally decreasing and at Kanpur down stream (d/s), decreasing trends in DO are observed. DO in rest of the locations showed a marginal increasing trend. FC complied with the standard at only one location, that is, Narora.
From Garhmukteshwar to Allahabad d/s, a continuous increasing trend is observed with respect to FC. At Varanasi u/s and d/s, decreasing trends in FC are observed, whereas a marginal decreasing trend is noticed at Trighat.
The report concludes with its observation that the Ganga suffers from myriad problems, most significant ones being the lean flow during dry season and dumping of nearly 50% untreated and partially treated sewage into the river. River flow in the Ganga is low because of diversion through Upper and Lower Ganga canals, leaving virtually very little flow in the main river, which makes it impossible for fair weather dilution even with the treated sewage. Ganga in Uttar Pradesh demands treatment of sewage and minimum ecological flow for its survival as a river. Since a river is a living eco-system and therefore ultimate goal should be to protect the functioning of the river eco-system.