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Coronavirus: Mother nature heals as Ganga flows cleaner, mountain ranges become visible as air quality improve

The dissolved oxygen level in Ganga is above 8.3 mg per little which is higher than the recommended 7 mg/litre

Amidst the nationwide lockdown announced by the Central Government to check the transmission of the Wuhan Coronavirus in India, the water quality of river Ganga has seemingly improved in Varanasi and Kanpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh as per reports.

Kalika Singh, who is a regional officer of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), informed that the dissolved oxygen level in Ganga is above 8.3 mg per little which is higher than the recommended 7 mg/litre. As such, the water is suitable for bathing now. He added that due to lack of traffic on the streets of Varanasi, the air quality has reached satisfactory levels on the Air Quality Index (AQI).

A local resident Rakesh Tiwari said, “Hundreds of people used to take a holy dip here. No waste or garbage is being secretly dumped. Under the Namami Gange project, major drains merging into the Ganga have also been tapped.”

Ajay Pujari, who is the priest of Parmat temple in Kanpur, informed, “Since all the factories are closed due to the lockdown, the Ganga river has become cleaner.” He added that the priests would not take a dip in the Holy river. But, due to the lockdown, they can now bath in the river.

Praising the Namami Gange project, Ajay said that the project has helped check the water pollution by tapping the Sisamau drain that used to discharge dirty water into Ganga. He emphasised, “The improvement we can witness at present is unprecedented. The lockdown has certainly improved the health of River Ganga which many projects of the government couldn’t do”.

Moreover, in other parts of the country, mountain ranges which are a few hundred kilometres away from the cities are now visible. Dhauladhars in Himachal are now visible from Jalandhar, Punjab.

Similarly, the Kanchenjunga is now visible from Kolkata.

Due to the relentless efforts of the government to contact trace and quarantine effectively, India’s coronavirus spread curve flattened yesterday, giving rise to the hope that if we could maintain this, India might be back on track soon. Economist Shamika Ravi, who is currently the Director of Research at Brookings India and former member, PM’s Economic Advisory Council believes that even though it is a little too early to comment, but, if this trend continues, it will soon bring some relief for India.

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