New Delhi: A dip in Ganga is widely believed to rid a person of his/her sins but it can also pose a grave health hazard. This is because of the deteriorating water quality in the river considered holy in India - a fact highlighted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
The NGT expressed its displeasure over the quality of water in Ganga, especially between Haridwar and Unnao. "If cigarette packets can carry injurious to health warning, why not river Ganga?" the environment body was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. It observed that the water between Haridwar and Unnao is unfit for drinking and bathing.
The NGT has now directed National Mission for Clean Ganga to place display boards at every 100 kilometres along the river with information about the quality of water at that location. The boards have to clearly spell out if the water is fit for consumption and for bathing purposes.
River Ganga's water in some areas have become so hazardous. In light of this court has directed the authorities to put display boards if water there is safe for drinking/bathing, so that in the name of religious beliefs people don't harm their health: Gaurav Bansal lawyer at NGT pic.twitter.com/AvKIQOIo9z
— ANI (@ANI) July 28, 2018
The green panel last year had questioned steps taken by the Centre and UP government in particular to clean the river. It had also passed a number of directions to rejuvenate the river. These included declaring as 'No Development Zone' an area of 100 metres from the edge of the river between Haridwar and Unnao and prohibiting dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river. Before this, the tribunal in its judgement has said that the government has spent over Rs 7,000 crore in two years to clean the Ganga which still remains a "serious environmental issue".