Pune: The city-based National Center for Microbial Research (NCMR) and Center for Citizen Science (CCS) have researched water quality through microbial analysis at five points between Goumukh, the origin of Ganga, to Ganga Sagar, where the river meets the sea, to check the water quality and the contamination of the river water throughout its flow in the country.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Yogesh Shouche, in-charge of National Center for Microbial Research (NCMR), said the research is one of its kind and will help set up parameters to monitor the health of the rivers across the country.
“We have discovered the natural microbial community of the river at Gaumukh where there was not much human or industrial interaction. However, as we come down, the result o the research shows that the health of the river is deteriorating due to human interaction through human waste and untreated industrial waste,” said Shouche.
He further highlighted that the interesting aspect of the research is that the samples were collected by the members of CCS. It was an initiative from the people along with the help of scientists.
One of the team members of the NCMR, Avinash Sharma, mentioned that the five samples collected throughout the course of the Ganga had varied microbial content.
“We could do sequencing of a large set of data. Between rural and urban samples, there was 59 per cent difference in microbial content. The difference between these samples were mostly due to microbial content coming from human interaction and industrial untreated waste,” said Sharma.
He also highlighted that the river samples were most unhealthy at Kanpur and Varanasi. “These places are interfered with human interaction due to the religious importance of the place and the untreated waste,” said Sharma.
He also highlighted that seven million people live along the bank of the river. “The water by the river is not only used for drinking purposes and other activities but for agriculture as well. The untreated water waste brings along the bacteria, which is antibiotic resistance and can cause problems,” said Sharma.