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Friday, June 05, 2020

Industries shut for lockdown, Ganga water quality improves

IIT-BHU professor Dr P K Mishra attributed the improvement to the lack of industrial waste polluting the waters.  

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 6, 2020 8:34:08 am
Ganga water, lockdown In India, pollution levels have dipped as the lockdown in megacities has kept cars off the road and closed factories.

With industries shutdown and people confined to their homes for days following the imposition of the 21-day lockdown, the water quality of Ganga river has significantly improved, according to a IIT-BHU professor.

Dr P K Mishra, a professor at the institute’s Chemical Engineering department, attributed the improvement to the lack of industrial waste polluting the waters.

“One-tenth of the pollution in Ganga river comes from industries. As industries are shut due to lockdown, situation has become better. We have seen 40-50 per cent improvement in the Ganga. It is a significant development,” Mishra told news agency ANI. With rainfall on March 15 and 16, the Ganga’s water level has also increased, he said, adding that this meant the river’s cleaning capacity has also increased.

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The Varanasi locals, happy with the change, also admitted that they could tell the quality has improved.

“There is a lot of difference between when we see the water of the Ganga river today and what used to be earlier. Today, the water looks clean,” ANI quoted a local as saying. He added that people are also not taking bath at the ghats — a common ritual among locals there. “If this is the condition in 10 days, then I believe Ganga river will be like it used to be earlier,” he added. Another local said nobody would have thought that the lockdown would have such an impact on environment.

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With several countries under lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, the global pollution levels have also dropped significantly. In India, pollution levels have dipped as the lockdown in megacities has kept cars off the road and closed factories. New Delhi, which regularly has unhealthy air conditions, has now seen its AQI falling below 95 — a big reduction from its monthly average of 161 from March 2019. Mumbai, too, has witnessed a similar reduction in pollution.

Due to the improvement in air quality following in India, Dhauladhar range, which is part of a Himalayan chain of mountains in Himachal Pradesh, has now become visible from Jalandhar in Punjab, The mountain rises from Kangra and Mandi.

(With inputs from ANI)

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