New Delhi: The river Ganga, lifeline to millions of Indians and the most holy river to Hindus, has become a source of carcinogens as well.
With pollutants being continuously dumped into the river, a study has found that people living along its course are more susceptible to cancer than anywhere else in the country.
According to the National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP), the river is suffused with heavy metals and poisonous chemicals, especially along the stretches in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.
“Ganga water is now laced with toxic industrial discharge such as arsenic, choride, fluoride and other heavy metals,” Jaideep Biswas, director of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, an associate of the National Cancer Registry Programme, was quoted saying to a leading newspaper.
Gallbladder cancer cases in these areas are the second highest in the world and prostate cancer highest in the country.
The research revealed that of every 10,000 people surveyed, 450 men and 1,000 women were gallbladder cancer patients. Other forms of cancer were also found among the people living along the river course, such as kidney, oesophagus, liver, urinary bladder and skin cancer.
“Those who`ve been bathing in this poison river are equally at danger,” said Biswas.