A REVIEW ON THE STUDY OF THE POLLUTION IN THE GANGA AND CONSERVATION OF GANGA IN MODERN INDIA
Pollution levels in the Ganga contribute 9-12 percent of the overall disease burden in Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), according to a World Bank Funded Study (State of Environment Report-U.P.). The amount of coliform bacteria exceeds 2 lakh MPN compared to the national water quality standard of 5000. The overall health damage due to water contamination was estimated in the study to be about 6.4 million daily (Disability Adjusted Life Year). The total municipal sewage produced in the defined 25 towns in 1985 was 1340 million liters per day, according to the CPCB survey report (mld). In addition to this sewage, 260 ml of industrial waste water, 6 million tons of fertilizers and 9,000 tons of pesticides used within the basin in agriculture, significant amounts of solid waste, including thousands of animal carcasses and human carcasses, have been released into the river on a regular basis. Out of this, under the first step of GAP, works corresponding to just 873 mld (65%) were taken up. Under the 2nd stage of GAP, which is already in progress, the remaining sewage was to be taken up. The GAP and NRCP programmes have been optimistic, according to the Water Resources Planning Commission's report (May 2009). Monitoring of water quality by renowned independent institutions shows some change in water quality over the pre-GAP era. The study of water quality of samples collected at 16 stations on the Ganga River between 1986 and 2008 shows improvement in the levels of dissolved oxygen (DO) at 4 sites, namely up and down Allahabad and Varanasi streams. The decrease in biological oxygen demand (BOD) values is shown by all 16 stations except Patna downstream and Rajmahal. The level of BOD shows a substantial decrease in Allahabad and Varanasi, indicating an increase in the quality of water over the pre-GAP period. However, the BOD amount does not meet the requirement for bathing water at 7 of those 16 places. The situation for DO, for which the bathing standard is not reached at only one place, is much better. On the other hand, only the bathing norm is met in terms of total coliform count at one venue. The count exceeds the bathing level by several times. The Action Plan was mainly concerned with the interception and diversion of 873 mln of targeted urban sewage for treatment.