Floating human bodies polluting Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, NGT told

New Delhi: Human and animal corpses are being recklessly dumped in Ganga at various locations across Uttar Pradesh, aggravating pollution in the river, a lawyer told the National Green Tribunal on Wednesday.

He also submitted pictures of corpses floating in Ganga in Varanasi and claimed no action was being taken to stop such corpses from being disposed in the river.

"The deponent wish to draw the attention of this Court on the issue of floating dead bodies in Ganga in the districts of Uttar Pradesh. That one of the photos show a half burnt dead body of a human being and a dead animal floating in the river. "Further, it is also important to mention here that the deponent has learnt from the reports published/aired on various electronic and print media that in the month of January, 2015, more than 100 decaying dead bodies surfaced in the Ganga near Pariyar between Kanpur and Unnao," an affidavit filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal said.

The affidavit was filed in pursuance to the green panel's January 18 direction asking the lawyer to file proper documents after he alleged that bodies of humans and animals were being dumped in the river and the authorities were not taking any action.

Taking note of his submissions, NGT had slammed the Centre and UP government over pollution in Ganga at Varanasi and observed that their slogans were contrary to actions.

Bansal, in his affidavit, has said that after burning of a human body, nearly 300 tonnes of ash is being released from ghats which contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, leading to changes in the chemical composition of water. "There are two burning ghats named Harishchandra and Manikarnika where about 32,000 dead bodies are burnt every year with the help of 10000 tons of dry wood. During the burning of firewood, about 480x108 kilocalorie/yr wood energy is consumed. After burning about 300 tons ash content is released from the burning ghats which contain 77,000 kg Nitrogen, 48,000 kg Phosphorus and 5,000 kg Potassium.

"Due to religious faith, about 200 tons half burnt flesh content is also released in Ganga. Release of huge quantity of ash and flesh contents etc. changes the quality of river Ganga in Varanasi. Increase in biochemical oxygen demand and decrease in dissolved oxygen content have been detected," the affidavit said.

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