Ganga water unfit for bathing, says UP Pollution Control Board report
Critically high level of Coliform and Fecal Coliform bacteria have been detected in Ganga in Kanpur, Prayagraj and Varanasi districts, making the river water unfit even for bathing.
According to a recent UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) report, against the maximum permissible limit of 500 MPN (most probable number)/100 ML of water for both bacteria, 40,000 MPN of Coliform and 22,000 MPN of Fecal Coliform bacteria was measured in the Ganga, in Jana village of Kanpur.
UPPCB records revealed that the second highest bacteria level was measured at 31,000 MPN and 17,000 MPN in Ganga, in Varanasi, while the third highest level of the two bacteria was recorded at 26,000 MPN and 17,000 MPN at a bathing ghat near Jajmau bridge, in Kanpur.
Further, records revealed that Tarighat in Ghazipur recorded the fourth maximum count of bacteria in the Ganga at 21,000 MPN and 11,000 MPN respectively, while Sangam in Prayagraj had the fifth highest level of the bacteria in the state, measured at 21,000 MPN and 7,900 MPN respectively.
According to UPPCB Prayagraj regional officer JB Singh, the excessively high level of Coliform and Fecal Coliform bacteria in the Ganga was due to untreated sewage water in the river in different parts of state, including Prayagraj.
“Currently, of the 70 drains within the city limits, 20 big and small drains were still dumping several million litres per day (MLD) of sewage in the Ganga, which was the sole reason for the presence of such a high level of bacteria. There are seven sewage treatment plants (STPs) functional in the city, while 3 STPs are under construction and will soon become functional,” he added.
During Kumbh Mela 2019, experts of the National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) treated sewage water of six major drains, while sewage from a similar number of drains was tapped and treated by National Thermal Power Corporation.
Further, water of five drains was also treated through modular technology installed at 10 drains by the Ganga Pollution Unit.
According to UPPCB parameters, the water for drinking purpose should have Coliform and Fecal Coliform bacteria count at a maximum of 50 MPN/100 ml or less.