Survey shows dip in quality of Ganga water in Kanpur | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Survey shows dip in quality of Ganga water in Kanpur

The survey, conducted by a team of scientists, says the water has high bio chemical oxygen demand, which is hazardous for vegetation, aquatic life and human health

lucknow Updated: Nov 07, 2017 14:33 IST
Haidar A Naqvi
Untreated sewer water flowing into the Ganga in Kanpur
Untreated sewer water flowing into the Ganga in Kanpur (HT File Photo)

The quality of Ganga water in Kanpur has deteriorated further and is not fit for cooking or drinking in a 23-kilometre stretch of the river from the Ganga Barrage to Sidhnath Ghat in Jajmau, says an ongoing sample survey.

The survey is being conducted by a team of scientists engaged for a two-year research on river pollution as part of the Namami Gange project.

Specifically, the river water has become highly deficient in oxygen. The survey says the water has high bio chemical oxygen demand, which is hazardous for vegetation, aquatic life and human health.

The researchers conducting the survey are from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad, the IIT-Banaras Hindu University and the Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj University, Kanpur. They collected the samples from the 23-kilometre stretch over a 10-month period.

The pH level (potential activity of hydrogen ions) was as high as 7.5 to 8.47 as against the permissible limit of six to seven units per litre, according to the sample survey. The pH level is a numeric scale of the acidity of a solution.

The same team had found the pH level between 7 and 8.30 in June last year. Water with higher pH value turns alkaline and is dangerous for aquatic life and humans.

This time, the oxygen level dipped to 3.78 miligram in a litre of water as against the acceptable level of six milligram per litre, the survey said. The bio-chemical oxygen demand (BOD) was 10.4 to 19.6 milligram per litre as against the permissible limit of three milligrams per litre.

Read More | Ganga cleaning: NGT issues notice to Kanpur officials

The chemical oxygen demand (COD) was 14 to 88 milligram per litre of water as against the permissible level of 10 milligram per litre.

The sample results were ‘very alarming’, said Dr Pravin Bhai Patel, principal investigator of the research project and the assistant professor at the CSJMU.

“We will conduct six to seven studies more in the near future. Only then will we be able to find out why the Ganga water quality has deteriorated this much. At this point, drawing any conclusion will be premature,” said Patel.

The joint team will start the fresh sample studies from December, enlarging their area of operation in the river.

A report by the Kanpur Jal Sansthan in February had said 40 units of pollutants were found in litre of water along with 0.04 mg of nitrate.

The then KJS general manager RK Singh had said the water was not fit for consumption and drinking it could lead to abdominal diseases.