Bacterial pollution in Ganga highest in Kanpur, Varanasi: Report
The level of faecal and coliform bacteria in the Ganga river in Varanasi measured by the UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) is several hundred times more than the permissible limit. Faecal coliform bacteria are found in excreta that contaminates water through untreated sewerage.
The higher the level, the higher the presence of disease-causing pathogen in water. According to April 2019 survey report of the UPPCB, the top five most critical level of twin forms of bacteria in the Ganga was detected in Kanpur, Varanasi, Ghazipur, Kaushambi and Prayagraj.
The survey report revealed as against permissible limit of 50 most probable number (MPN)/100ML of total coliform bacteria for drinking purpose and 500 MPN/100ML of the bacteria for outdoor bathing, Kanpur recorded 46000 MPN/100ML of total coliform bacteria and 32000 MPN/100ML of faecal coliform bacteria in the Ganga last month.
Varanasi reported second highest level of both the forms of bacteria in Ganga in the state. The level of total coliform bacteria was measured at 34000 MPN/100ML while the level of faecal coliform bacteria was 22000 MPN/100ML in the Ganga water.
The third highest level of total coliform bacteria was detected at 27000 MPN/100ML in downstream Ganga at Tarighat, Ghazipur while the fourth highest count of the bacteria in state was measured at 14000 MPN/100ML at Kadaghat, Kaushambi.
The survey report said the fourth highest level of bacteria in the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh was 24000 MPN/100ML in Kadaghat, Kaushambi while the fourth highest level of faecal coliform bacteria was detected at 13000 MPN/100ML at Tarighat, Ghazipur.
Similarly, in Prayagraj the level of total coliform bacteria was 21000 MPN/100ML while the level of faecal coliform bacteria was 11000 MPN/100ML. A report of the national green tribunal had last month exposed that the excessive level of mismanagement during the 49-day Kumbh had further polluted the national river.
According to regional officer, UPPCB, Prayagraj, SK Mishra, the report reflected the actual condition of the Ganga in the state. He added if stricter measures were not initiated to stop further pollution of the river from untapped drains, the condition would turn worse.
Environmentalist and amicus curiae in Re-Ganga pollution case in the Allahabad high court Arun Kumar Gupta said several drains were still flowing untapped into the Ganga everyday but authorities entrusted with the task to check the same had failed miserably in doing so.
He further said during Kumbh mela, he had submitted an application in the Allahabad high court carrying a list of 83 drains in the city. Forty-six of these drains remained untapped during the Kumbh Mela and dumped untreated sewage water in the Ganga and the Yamuna, he said.