The increased Faecal Coliform bacteria in the Ganges

The increased Faecal Coliform bacteria in the Ganges

Some of you must be aware of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board’s (UPPCB) report which talks about the excessive and unfortunate level of Faecal Coliform Bacteria in the Ganges, today I am going to discuss that report in this article.

What is a faecal coliform bacterium?

FC bacteria, such as E.coli, are found in excreta that contaminates water through untreated sewerage. The permissible limit for FC is 2,500 MPN (most probable number) /100 ml, while the desirable level is 500 MPN/100 ml.  

What does the report suggests?

The report by UPPCB discusses the water contamination level of rivers and other water resources in Uttar Pradesh (UP). Water level from 63 different places was taken for analysis out of which 31 samples were collected from the Ganges. These 31 samples originated from Bignore, Muzzafarnagar, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Kanpur, Rai Bareli, Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad), Sonbhadr. The report was released in January 2019.

In the Bulandshahr region, the FC bacteria is in controlled level in almost all the areas, the highest bacteria count was in Narora region of Bulandshahr, 350 (most probable number) /100 ml. The reason for such low levels could be because of the lack of industrial units and also due to bulandshahr being a rural area predominantly.

The most perilous state of the river is in the city of Kanpur with 28,000 (most probable number) /100 ml followed by Varanasi with 23,000 (most probable number) /100 ml and then Prayagraj with 11,000 (most probable number) /100 ml. The level at Prayagraj made it unsafe for bathing but the administration let the Kumbh Mela happen to play with the health of millions of devotes. Every single political leader took a dip at the Kumbh to leverage the political opportunities. It would have been better if the report was taken seriously and assessments of the health of the river would have been done, before organizing such a mega event.

It is also needed to look at the report about the sad state of a few more rivers, the most severely hit river in UP is Hindon river with 3,20,000 (most probable number) /100 ml in Ghaziabad, Varuna river with 2,80,000 (most probable number) /100 ml in Varanasi and Yamuna river with 98,000 (most probable number) /100 ml in Mathura.

Our rivers are dying and we need to act fast and efficient in order to save them. It is important for political parties to stand above the party ideologies and work for the betterment of these rivers on which millions of their voters and supporters depend.

Here is the link to the report of UPPCB

Author Profile

Mritunjay Sharma
Mritunjay Sharma
Mritunjay Sharma finished his B.Sc (H) from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University in Chemistry. After that he went to England to study Masters in Polymer Material Science and Engineering from University of Manchester and consequently finished his PhD in Nuclear and Materials Chemistry from University of Manchester

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