With economic activities at halt and people staying home, nature seems to reclaim some of its beauty and sparkle that it lost to unchecked pollution and mindless resource exploitation. As a testament to this, north India's two most important rivers — the Ganga and the Yamuna — became visibly pristine; a sight for sore eyes on social media who are otherwise used to see images of polluted, frothed rivers with piles of waste flowing over.
According to Dr. PK Mishra, Professor at Chemical Engineering and Technology, IIT-BHU, Varanasi, there has been a 40-50% improvement in the quality of water in river Ganga. He attributed this to the shutting down of industries due to the Coronavirus lockdown which usually discharges large volumes of toxic effluents into the river.
The nationwide Coronavirus lockdown kicked in from March 25 and will run through April 14. The aim is to curb the spread of the highly communicable and deadly virus that has so far infected over 3,300 people and killed 77.
#WATCH: Water quality of river Ganga in Varanasi improves as industries are shut due to #CoronavirusLockdown. As per Dr PK Mishra, Professor at Chemical Engineering & Technology, IIT-BHU,Varanasi, there has been 40-50% improvement in quality of water in river Ganga. pic.twitter.com/vuF0xiUv8W— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 5, 2020
Locals in Varanasi also said that water in the Ganga river has seen improvement in quality as is apparently more clearer. "There is a lot of difference. Today, the water looks clean. One of the biggest reasons behind this is that today all factories are closed," said a local.
A person from Kanpur said that though the water quality in the Ganga has improved, the water levels are low. ''Once the water levels increase, Ganga will appear completely clean," the local said. The reason for the low water level can be attributed to the summer season which sees a spike in household water usage and the increase in the rate of evaporation.
These are 2 images of the same location, Yamuna at Kalindi Kunj in New Delhi, one is from 'normal' times and the other during Corona lockdown. Our 'Industry and Environment Clearance' Minister @PrakashJavdekar should have a look. pic.twitter.com/8KKjb2r4n5— Vimlendu Jha (@vimlendu) April 5, 2020
Thousands of crores spent on Ganga cleaning in the last several years. All we needed to do was to leave it alone. 💙💚 https://t.co/PnX6HdWE7i— Ishita Yadav (@IshitaYadav) April 5, 2020
Now that Ganga and Yamuna have cleaned themselves, government should spend the money allocated to clean them to enforce they don’t get polluted again. Isi tarah se danda maare jaise abhi maar rahe hain. Penalise, jail. Whatever. But inko wapas pollute mat hone do pic.twitter.com/uUFDw5FcSA— Sandeep Mall (@SandeepMall) April 5, 2020
Bollywood actor Dia Mirza said, "Our rivers are getting a rest from industrial effluents . Good time for us all to learn how quickly nature can heal provided we allow her."
(With ANI inputs) (ANI photo)