Zee Media Bureau/Shruti Saxena
New Delhi: Ganga is considered as the holiest of the holy rivers, serving as a gateway for souls to escape the cycle of rebirth and attain salvation.
But today, the grim reality is that the sacred river has become a source of carcinogens as well.
According to water samples collected by the Department of Atomic Energy's National Centre for Compositional Characterisation of Materials (NCCM), the river is suffused with Chromium 6 metal.
The NCCM works under the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and is located in Hyderabad.
"Chromium is essential as well as toxic. The toxic form of chromium is hexavalent chromium. We have determined its content in the Ganga water collected during Kumbha Mela. It was 1 ng/ml, almost 50 times the permissible limit," NCCM head Dr Sunil Jai Kumar, was quoted as telling a leading newspaper.
Also, people living along the river's course and taking dip in the holy water are more susceptible to exposure to such high levels of chromium and develop cancer.
The study also revealed that the river water carries poisonous chemicals mainly coming from the Kanpur tanneries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged to rejuvenate the Ganges on priority basis. Let us hope that the river revered as the source of life, is finally cleaned up of its mess.