Bathing in Ganga can expose people to high levels of faecal coliform bacteria: A dip in the river Ganga at Sangam, where the Yamuna is also seen in the Allahabad, can expose people to levels of the faecal coliform (FC) that are 5-13 times the permitted limit, official data from 2017 display.
This limit is unsafe for bathing also.
FC bacteria, like, E.coli, are found in excreta which contaminates water via untreated sewerage. The allowable limit for FC is 2,500 MPN (most probable number) /100 ml, while the desirable level is 500 MPN/100 ml.
Pollution levels are somehow increasing in this holy sites, where high population density and activities are stated as the main reasons for the growing pollution, display at the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.
In Uttar Pradesh, 50% of the 16 stations that is the currents and latest FC data is available for 2018, did not meet desired standards.
For Bihar, 88% of the stations failed to meet the standards.
Some of the most polluted places, are Kanpur, Allahabad, and Varanasi in UP. At the Jajmau pumping station in Kanpur in 2017, FC levels were 10- 23 times so the limit.
This one is said to be a one-off spike and on the last 2011, also, the station recorded FC levels ranging from 4,000 to 93,000 MPN/ 100 ml.
At the Malviya Bridge in Varanasi, the FC levels are 9-20 times the boundary.
In 2011, values ranged between 13-19 times which also set a limit at the Malviya bridge station.
At Ramrekhaghat in Buxar, the FC levels in August 2017 pointed at 160, 00,000, that is 6,400 times the FC norm.
An scrutiny and study of the 2017 data from state pollution control boards in five states – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal — via which the Ganga flows display that the water quality in the river was abysmal in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in 2017 that can be a reason for the faecal pollution.
Data for West Bengal is not declaring now or maybe not available but as per the previous analysis of Ganga water quality data from 2016 display the high levels of FC contamination.
Most projects also deal with the sewerage that was sanctioned in the early years also and have yet to display the results.
Out of 94 stations that dot the Ganga’s main stem, readings from 76 stations was available. Data for one station in Jharkhand showed satisfactory water quality.
The CPCB data display that the Ganga is cleanest as it flows from its main source which is the Uttarakhand, with all stations in the state is showing the news of providing the satisfactory water quality.
In Uttar Pradesh, 65% of the stations are reported, actually having the bad quality of water in 2017. In Bihar, 76% of the stations recorded to deliver not good enough water quality, with no station are actually reporting good water quality anyway.
“There is an index for air quality, but it is more difficult to develop an index for water,” a CPCB official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said. “It is different from an environmental point of view and from a human health perspective. Fecal coliform is dangerous to human health.”
Anil Kumar Singh, an official at the UP Pollution Control Board, shared his views regarding the high levels of pollution happened because of the discharge of untreated domestic waste. “Treatment capacity [in Varanasi] is about a quarter of the total discharge,” he added.
This is true of the entire Ganga main stem. Sewage treatment capacity in the 97 major towns on the river is less than half of the total sewage generated.
The largescale diversion of water somehow having a major issue that is the very bad as the depleting water flow raises the concentration of contaminant and pollution also.
The Namami Gange programme started in May 2015, earmarked Rs 20,000 crore for the renewal of the river. However, Rs 19, 630 crore has been approved for funding 192 projects, only 49 projects have been completed till now as per various media reports.
A pollution level varies, with higher water flow throughout and posts the monsoon diluting contaminant levels. “However, pollution has reached such levels that rivers like the Yamuna are polluted throughout the year,” the CPCB official told.