For decades, River Ganga had been a victim of human activities. Industries discharging their effluents and large gatherings of people on the ghats in Haridwar and Rishikesh had made its water unfit even for bathing, leave drinking.

But now, as humans are staying away from the river amid lockdown, it's water quality has improved significantly.

Source: India Today

Water from Har-ki-Pauri in Haridwar was tested by the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board. Results from the tests reveal that the water here has been classified as 'fit for drinking after chlorination', for the first time in decades.

According to a report by TOI, a reduction of 34% in fecal coliform and that of 20% in biological oxygen demand has been observed in the water samples in April.

Source: newsgram

Chief Environment Officer of the UEPPCB told TOI that the water at Har-ki-Pauri was ranked in Class A for the first time in recent history. The water was always in Class B since the formation of Uttarakhand in 2000.

Improvement in the quality of water has also been reported from other areas like Kanpur and Devprayag.

Speaking to India Today, a priest from Kanpur said:

Since all the factories are closed due to the lockdown, the Ganga river has become cleaner. The priests at the temple earlier used to refrain from taking a holy dip because the water was highly contaminated. However, since the past week, we are bathing in the river.

While the water-quality has improved significantly, conservationists fear that things could turn bad again once the lockdown is lifted. 

Source: HT

It is important that we take lessons from this and not get back to polluting the river that has started breathing only now after ages.