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.
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.
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.
The water of the holy river Ganges has been cleared during the lockdown.— Saru (@Saru81589968) April 17, 2020
That bird chirping though Triveni ghat, Rishikesh , Uttarakhand
Nothing is more stronger than Mother Earth which was and being abused by human's yet recovered so soon. #ganga pic.twitter.com/m713xsVucb
After seeing the photos available on the net of the Holy river GANGA & YAMUNA so clean , i wonder how much of the industrial waste was going in ?— Alok Bhatt (@thenationalis13) April 17, 2020
And who allowed them to ruin ?
Or were they not allowed but still dumping and no one had a clue ?
@PMOIndia i am confident that by now the goi has analysed the reasons of dirty ganga, yamuna & other rivers & their clean status now. It is the right time to see that the mistakes may not be repeated again. A suggestion by a layman in these difficult times.— ArunSeth (@ArunArunseth) April 22, 2020
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.
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.