Tuesday, August 6, 2019


One can easily feel inner peace by just sitting at the bank of The Ganges, all the distractions, confusions and tensions gets relieved by just witnessing the Ganges Aarti at Har ki Pauri, Haridwar. The source of this 2525 kilometers long river originates from Himalayan mountains. GANGAJAL is considered as the most sacred water by Hindus. It is stated that merely one dip in the mysterious water of this holy river washes away all the sins of a person.  

Mystery of GANGAJAL

Although millions of Hindus take bath in this river and millions more on festive days throughout the year but still there is no sign of contagious diseases spreading from person to person due to contact through this river water. The scientific reason for the same is antibacterial nature of Ganges water. In 1896, Dr Hankin found that the bacterium Vibrio Cholerae which is responsible for causing the Cholera disease, when kept in Gangajal died within three hours. However, the same bacteria survived in distilled water even after 48 hours.

It does not smell like stale water even after storing for years as self-purifying quality of The Ganges leads to 25 times higher oxygen levels than any other river in the whole world.

Malaria Research Center in New Delhi observed that the water from the upper reaches of Ganga did not host mosquito breeding, and it prevented mosquito breeding in any water it was added to.

Challenges of The Ganges

The cleanliness of this river is of utmost importance as it supplies water to hundreds of Million people. Two major concerns are: To prevent the inclusion of pollutants in the river and the second is to have sufficient flow in the river.

27 major towns dump over 900 million liters of sewage/industrial waste in The Ganges every day. It is a great challenge to connect all inhabitants of the towns on Ganga and its tributaries to sewage lines and build sufficient, operational Sewage Treatments Plants (STP) on these lines. As it will lead to clean water, which will be discharged to the river. Approximately seven hundred and sixty four factories dump their garbage in The Ganges. At least, it should be possible to measure the pollution coming out of the wastewater of a factory.

90% of the water from The Ganges is taken by agriculture. This is in conformity with various estimates that recommends that more than 80% of fresh water of the country is used for agriculture. The matter of concern is that irrigation is of utmost importance to agriculture and nearly 40% of our population depends on agriculture. The yield of a farm can go up three times due to irrigation. The impact on net income would increase manifold. Hence, it is not easy to reduce this diversion of water but smart technologies like drip irrigation can be a solution to this problem but that requires investment.

It is a prime duty of each one of us to take up the responsibility of further not adding the pollutants in the holy river and work towards its cleanliness drive as per our capabilities. Jai Ganges!

Dr Sunita Sharma

Assistant Professor-Selection Grade
Program Coordinator-BSc(H)Physics
Department of Applied Sciences
Gurugram, INDIA

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