Ganga cleaning improves aquatic life

Haridwar: The Ganga cleanliness drive is helping improve the river's aquatic life.

Researchers who studied the condition of the river before and after the latest mass cleanliness drive say there have been visible positive results.

The study covered Har Ki Pauri, one of the most popular and crowded ghats of the largest river basin in the world.

Researchers from Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya and Gurkul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya say the campaign helped temperature to dip to 18.1 degrees Celsius from 19 degrees.

The turbidity levels, however, plunged in a major way. At the same time, the transparency level of the Ganges increased by almost 1.5 times -- from 18 cm to 30 cm.

Interestingly, the chloride level decreased significantly from 26 mg/l to 16 mg/l and the TDS (total dissolved solids) came down to 102 mg/l from as high as 210 mg/l.

"Temperature affects the metabolic rate in the aquatic environment. It was great to see a reasonable change in the same," said a statement issued by lead researchers Sushill Bhadula and B.D. Joshi.

Bhadula is a professor of environmental science at the Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya. Joshi is from the department of zoology and environmental science at Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya.

"Similarly, the better the transparency, the more is the penetration of sunlight in water which is good for aquatic plants," the statement said.

"The transparency was maximum Oct 14, the last day of the cleanliness campaign. We are happy with the results," it added.

The cleanliness and the mass awareness programme was conducted by Haridwar-based spiritual group Shantikunj as a part of its nationwide Clean Ganga drive.

"The cleanliness drive not only focussed on cleaning the river water but also made visitors and localities aware of the hazards created (by irresponsible acts)," a spokesman for Shantikunj said.

The 2,525-km-long river is not only considered holy by Hindus but is also a lifeline to millions. It flows from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal.

But the Ganga is considered one of the most polluted rivers in the world. The pollution affects not only human life but also fish and amphibian species.

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