Fake Promises: As Ganga water quality continues to deteriorate, PM Modi led Ganga Council has never met

Garbage in the Ganges River in Varanasi, India. This is one of the most revered stretches of India's holiest river.

By MM News

New Delhi : While Ganga water quality has continuously deteriorated in 3 years, The National Ganga Council (NGC), which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has never met since it was constituted in October 2016.

The NGC was formed to prevent, protect and control pollution in River Ganga.

The lone NGRBA meeting chaired by PM Modi took place on July 4, 2016. After that, NGC was formed. A senior official in the ministry confirmed to DTE that not a single meeting of NGC has taken place.

On the website of National Mission for Clean Ganga, the minutes of meetings of none of the other bodies like NGC and Empowered Task Force are available.

As per a Varanasi based Sankat Mochan Foundation, a rise has been seen in coliform bacteria and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), which are important parameters for evaluating the quality of water.

The NGO, Sankat Mochan Foundation has monitored Ganga’s quality since 1986 when Rajiv Gandhi had launched Ganga Action Plan. The foundation its own laboratory to analyse the Ganga Water samples.

Incidentally, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) audit report on NMCG, released in December 2017, slammed the government for not performing up to the mark. The report highlighted delay and non-implementation of project related to cleaning of the river, installation of sewage treatment plants, and construction of toilets in households.

Coliform organisms in drinking water should be 50MPN per 100 ml, while in outdoor bathing water, it should be 500MPN per 100 ml. On the other hand, BOD should be less than 3 mg per litre.

As per the data, the count of faecal coliform increased from 4.5 lakh (upstream at Nagwa) in January 2016 to 3.8 crore in February 2019 and 5.2 crore (downstream in Varuna) in Jan 2016 to 14.4 crore (downstream) in Feb 2019.

A rise in BOD level has also been seen from 46.8-54mg/l to 66-78mg/ l from January 2016 to February 2019. Not only this, the level of dissolved oxygen (DO), should be 6mg/l or more, but it reduced from 2.4mg/l to 1.4mg/l during this time.



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