The fact that the Ganges, India’s holiest river, has turned green in recent days has alarmed many residents in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
|The Ganges River is considered the holiest river in India. Photo: AP|
According to the Government of India, the Ganges River flows through many states and there are about 4,500 villages living on both sides of the river. Thousands of people in this country are drinking water directly and bathing in the sacred river.
Local residents said that the Ganges River often turns green in the rainy season due to the large amount of moss and lichens from the ponds and lakes.
“This time, however, the color change is on a larger scale. The river has a foul smell and people are suffering. In general, the phenomenon has only been witnessed in a few places such as bathing places or fires. It was buried along the riverbank, but now one can see it everywhere,” said Mukesh Sharma, a resident of Varanasi city in Uttar Pradesh state.
|The image of the water of the Ganges turning green was recorded in the city of Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Photo: India Today|
Another local resident, Vipul Vats, said that the unusual color change of the Ganges makes most people here unable to bathe or fetch water from the river for daily use.
Experts believe that the green color of the river may originate from blue-green algae. Sputnik quoted BD Tripathi, President of the Malviya Ganga Research Center of Banaras Hindu University, as saying: “From the naked eye, it seems that the color of the water is changed by a species of algae called blue-green algae (Microcystis). , usually found in stagnant water. In the Ganges, they can come from some sewers on either side or from standing water when it rains.”
According to Mr. Tripathi, if this situation goes on for a longer time, it can cause fish death and harm other aquatic animals because the algae produce neurotoxins. Bathing in water containing algae can cause skin diseases and drinking water can harm human liver.
Authorities are closely monitoring the situation and reassured people that there is no need to worry because the water quality is now within the normal range.
In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government launched the “Namami Gange” program to effectively reduce pollution, conserve and rejuvenate the Ganges. The central government has spent a total of 200 billion rupees (about $2.74 billion) for this purpose.
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