DEHRADUN: A study conducted by researchers from Doon University has indicated ‘very high presence of pollutants’ in urban stretches of river Ganga at Rishikesh and Haridwar. The study indicates that millions of pilgrims visiting the two cities, especially Haridwar, for the Kumbh festival will be ‘exposed to high concentration of water pollutants’.
Surindra Suthar, associate professor in Doon University who led the study, said: “The pollutants include anti-inflammatory and common antibiotics, caffeine and anti-bacterial medicines, among others. The overall concentration of Polypropylene Copolymer (PPCP) in the stretch was found to be up to 1,104.84 nanograms per litre. Concentration of anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics were higher in the winter season, possibly because of decreased biodegradation associated with lower temperature and inadequate sunlight.”
The researchers detected this during a study conducted over three seasons on the river stretch along with Rishikesh and Haridwar. The stretch of Ganga in Rishikesh and Haridwar is 16kms and 40kms, respectively.
According to researchers, mass bathing, urban waste and effluent from sewage treatment could be a source of PPCPs. The effluent from domestic sewage, discharge from hotels and ashrams reaches the Ganga, causing additional contamination.
Researchers said they analysed the water of Ganga at entry points to the cities and also in spots before it enters a sewage treatment plant. Pollution of Ganga has been a national concern for years. Despite several attempts, not much has been achieved.