When the lockdown was announced to contain the spread of coronavirus in the world, no one thought the consequences it would have. Though, people knew that things will improve but to this extent, it is an absolutely pleasant surprise. On one hand, when the pictures of River Yamuna are wowing the social media, water in Ganga River has now become so clean that it is fit for drinking.
This change has come after industrial units all over the country were closed to contain the spread of Covid-19. River Yamuna's recently reached a remarkable level of purity.
People in Kanpur and Varanasi have also stated that Ganga appears much cleaner and revived.
Last year, the pollutants and bacteria had grown so much in Ganga that forget drinking, the river's water was declared unfit for bathing. According to environmentalists, the water gets dirty when industrial effluents, sewage from hotels and lodges get mixed with it. Also, lakhs of pilgrims visiting the Ghats led to the degradation of the Ganga river.
However since March this year, the river water has become visibly cleaner. The closure of industries along its banks has added to improve the water quality. B.D. Joshi, Environmental Scientist and Ex-professor at Gurukul Kangri University stated that the quality of water in Ganga has become good for achaman (ritual sipping) in Haridwar.
He further added that there is a 500 per cent decrease in total dissolved solid (TDS).
Tanmay Vashishth, Ganga Sabha General Secretary, was quoted as saying that the water had not been this clear. A lot is contributed to the river when lakhs of pilgrims visit the twin towns of Rishikesh and Haridwar but due to the lockdown no one is allowed to visit and the water is becoming better.
Another reason for the improvement in water quality is the presence of sewage treatment plants (STPs) in Uttarakhand.
Sugandha Adlakha Sehgal, who has been born and brought up in Haridwar, stated, "In Haridwar, the Har Ki Pauri Ghat is usually surrounded by lakhs of pilgrims per day. Though this is a temporary phase but I pray that things go one like this even after the lockdown is lifted. We can see the base of the river if you look over it and I have never seen Ganga so clean."