NEW DELHI: A holy dip in the Ganga during Kumbh Mela could be unsafe, as real-time monitoring data from the Central government show that the river’s water at Allahabad is not fit for drinking and bathing.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) monitors the Ganga’s water quality in real time at various stations across Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
According to the board’s parameters, whether or not the water is fit for drinking and bathing depends on the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), dissolved oxygen (DO), and acidity.
Data from Allahabad show that the biochemical oxygen demand is in the red category — over 10 miligram per litre (mg/l) above the permissible limit. For river water to be fit for drinking and bathing, the BOD would have to be less than 3 mg/l.
Allahabad is hosting Kumbh till March 5, and is expected to receive 12 crore visitors, including many high-profile personalities, political leaders and foreign delegates. Many of these people are likely to take a dip in ‘Sangam’ — the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati.