Thousands of devotees in Ghaziabad and Noida will have no choice but to use the contaminated water of river Hindon where they will arrive in huge numbers on Sunday afternoon and on Monday morning to take part in Chhath Puja rituals.
The banks of Hindon are already lined up with decorations for Chhath Puja but experts say the faecal coliform contaminants in the river water pose a major challenge.
The presence of faecal coliform bacteria in streams and rivers indicates contamination by faecal material from human or animal sources. Contact with such water can result in exposure to pathogenic bacteria, often associated with faecal contamination, they added.
“The river water is filthy like previous years even though the authorities have promised that fresh water will be released into the river from the Upper Ganga Canal. Each year, devotees face contaminated conditions and stay away from standing in the water for long. Many devotees have also stopped taking the holy dip. The water causes skin irritation and is absolutely unfit for consumption. Still, we have no alternative but to visit the river banks to complete our puja,” said Pandit Rakesh Tiwari, national general secretary of ‘Purabiya Jan Kalyan Parishad.’
Tiwari added that almost 200,000 to 300,000 people will arrive at the banks of river Hindon near the GT Road to offer prayers at various ghats.
A look at the official sampling data of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) indicates that the presence of faecal coliform stood at an average of 197778 most probable number (MPN)/100ml at Karhera; 193333 MPN/100ml at Mohan Nagar; 1036667 MPN/100ml at Chijarsi in Ghaziabad and 864444 MPN/100ml at Kulesara in Noida for the nine months from January to September this year.
Similar high ranges were also found by UPPCB at four sampling locations in 2020 and 2021.
“The standard limit for faecal coliform is 1000 MPN/100ml and its presence in river Hindon water is very high. This is a result of untapped drains which directly get discharged into the river. The UP irrigation department is expected to release fresh Ganga water for the festival. It will only dilute the contamination in the river and not completely eradicate it,” said Utsav Sharma, UPPCB regional officer.
The officials of the UP Irrigation department said that the fresh water supply has been discharged from the Jani escape into the Hindon river on Thursday.Source link