According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the water in river Ganga has become cleaner during the lockdown. On Monday, the CPCB stated that the water can support aquatic life.
However, the report observed that while humans can also take a dip in the water without worrying about their health, the water is still not fit for drinking until it is treated chemically.
The report was presented after the CPCB analysed and compared the data from March 15-21, which is before the lockdown and March 22- April 15, after the lockdown.
The report said, 'Nationwide lockdown has resulted in overall improvement in water quality of river Ganga especially with regard to increased Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and reduced nitrate concentration. '
As per the report, the stretch in Uttar Pradesh has seen more improvement in comparison to the stretch in West Bengal. The improvement has been observed despite the high level of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) in the stretches in UP.
Mr. Prashant Gargava, member secretary of CMCB, said the improvement in water quality has taken place due to the shutting down of industries and increased rainfall. He added that another important reason is the discharge of water from Madhya Ganga Barrage in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh.
He said that UP has more industries than West Bengal, the shutting down of industries led to more improvement in the water quality in the stretch in that state. He also observed that the improvement can be attributed to fewer activities at the Ghats.