The efforts of the Modi government and the Namami Gange Mission are giving positive and encouraging results. A team of experts from various institutes and scientific bodies, including the ISRO collected water samples from 20 points in six highly polluted river banks – Ganga Barrage, Bhaironghat, Parmat, Shuklaganj, Jajmau and Wajidpur. The team of experts is on a two-year long project to monitor the quality of the river water. It has come to light that acquatic life in Ganga is set to flourish due to improvement in water quality of the river. Experts carrying out the research feel that there has been considerable improvement in the level of dissolved oxygen in more than a decade.
Ganga water has recorded improvement in its quality not only in terms of dissolved oxygen but also in respect of hydrogen (pH) levels too. Laboratory tests of the collected water samples revealed that the dissolved oxygen stood around 2.5 milligram per litre of water and pH level was more than 8.5 milligram per litre. Experts seem to be highly satisfied by these results. Principal Investigator of this project, Prof Pravin Bhai Patel said, “It is highly encouraging for us and the aquatic life.”
This is a marked improvement considering the past pH and dissolved oxygen levels. The average pH level in the last ten years has been below 6 which have now shown tremendous improvement. Similarly, dissolved oxygen level used to be between 3.5 and 4. This was a major threat to the marine life in the river. Moreover, the situation was worse at the points from where the samples have been collected. It shows that there has been a remarkable improvement in the quality of Ganga water even in the most polluted of areas.
The findings of the team of experts have been corroborated by the UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) regional officer Kuldeep Misra with his own data. Mishra said, “At present the water quality of the river has improved due to two reasons. First, the sewers have been tapped and there is complete control over tannery waste water going into the river. This has checked the oxygen depletion both upstream and downstream.” He added, “The river water has now become friendly for marine life. The ideal water condition for marine life requires pH level at 6.5 to 8.5 milligram per litre of water and the dissolved oxygen level less than three milligram per litre. But marine life can also survive if the dissolved oxygen level is higher but it is not good for human use.”
According to experts, the improvement in water quality of river Ganga is attributable to the tapping of the big drains bringing waste straight into the river and a check on tannery waste. It is clear that for the Modi government cleaning river Ganga has been one of the topmost priorities. The Namami Gange Mission is turning out to be stupendously successful. The incumbent government deserves to be applauded for such remarkable success. When the BJP stormed to power in 2014 and Modi government came at the helm of affairs, few would have thought that there would be such a turnaround as far as the quality of Ganga water is concerned. Given the decades of deterioration in its water quality, such an amazing turnaround was almost unthinkable but the Modi government seems to have achieved the unthinkable.