Ever since the 21-day nationwide lockdown was implemented in the country, there has been a significant improvement in the health of Ganga River, experts have said. According to the Central Pollution Control Board data, the Ganga river water was found to be suitable for bathing at most monitoring centres.
At around 27 of the 36 monitoring units placed at various points of the Ganga river, the water quality was suitable for bathing and propagation of wildlife and fisheries, said the real-time water monitoring data of the CPCB.
To assess the health of the river, the monitoring stations monitor the following parameters online: dissolved oxygen (more than 6 mg/litre), biochemical oxygen demand (less than 2 mg/litre), total coliform levels (5000 per 100 ml) and pH (range between 6.5 and 8.5).
According to experts, the water quality of the river has improved ever since the lockdown came into effect. However, as of now, no official report has been released on the improvement of water quality.
"The improvement that is visible needs to be validated with proper data. It is very good time for CPCB to study the level of pollution coming from the industry. It is a very good time to set up a baseline," environmentalist Manoj Misra was quoted by The Economic Times.
Earlier, the river water was found to be unfit for bathing the whole way till it drains into the Bay of Bengal in West Bengal, except for stretches in Uttarakhand and a couple of places as the river enters Uttar Pradesh.
According to Environmentalist Vikrant Tongad, the improvement has been especially seen in the industrial clusters which used to see huge pollution due industries, like in areas around Ganga in Kanpur.
However, Himanshu Thakkar, environmental activist and water expert, coordinator of South Asia Network of Dams, Rivers & People (SANDRP), said the improvement is a temporary respite and more stringent regulations are required.
"Due to lockdown, industrial activities are at the lower level. There would definitely be less effluent generation and discharge but the improvement is a temporary respite. What is required is more stringent regulations," he said.Also Read: Coronavirus Lockdown: Arvind Kejriwal To Transfer Rs 5000 Into Delhi Auto, Cab Drivers' Bank Account