NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal today said the water of the Ganga river, between Haridwar and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, was unfit for drinking and bathing, and expressed anguish over the situation.
The green panel said that innocent people drank and bathed in the river with reverence, without knowing that it may adversely affect their health.
"Innocent persons are drinking and bathing in the Ganga out of reverence and respect. They don't know that it may be dangerous to their health. If cigarette packets can contain a warning saying it is 'injurious to health', why not the people be informed of the adverse effects (of the river water)," the NGT said.
The bench, headed by NGT chairperson A K Goel, said "we are of the view that on account of great reverence to great Ganga, innocent persons may drink and bathe without knowing that the water is unfit for consumption. It is of utmost necessity to comply with the right to live of persons using Ganga water and they are put to notice about the fitness of water."
The green panel also directed National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) to install display boards at a gap of 100 kilometres, indicating whether the water was fit for bathing or drinking.
It directed the NMCG and the Central Pollution Control Board to place on their website, within two weeks, a prominent map showing where the water was good for bathing and drinking.