In the last thirty three years, there has been an immense growth in the population of India accompanied with rapid urbanization and industrialization. All of these factors have jointly put great pressure upon the sacred River Ganges (McDermott). In 1984, in Bhopal, 27 tones of deadly methyl isocyanate gas were released by a Union Carbide pesticide plant that resulted into 20000 casualties. There has been little to no change in the regulatory climate in India ever since. Similarly, since 1990s, there has been a two-fold increase in the volume of domestic sewage which is deposited into the River Ganges. It is expected that if the same pattern continues, the volume of sewage will double in a generation.
The aforementioned factors and several more like them have resulted into rapid pollution of India’s most sacred waters and most treasured resource whose religious significance is extreme. As a result of the decades of dumping, aquatic creatures have become extinct in one of the stretches of the Yamuna River in the last ten years. Yamuna River happens to be the main tributary of the River Ganges.
In Varanasi, Indias most sacred city, the coliform bacterial count is at least 3,000 times higher than the standard established as safe by the United Nations world Health Organization, according to Veer Bhadra Mishra, an engineer and Hindu priest whos led a campaign there to clean the river for two decades. (Hammer cited in “Focusing of Words”).
Generally existing in the colons of animals and humans, coliform are the rod-like bacteria that can prove a serious health hazard if found in water. Consumption of the polluted water of the River Ganges is causing a lot of skin problems. There has also been an increase in the infant mortality rates and disabilities among Indians over the years.
One of the most fundamental reasons why the health hazards originating in the River Ganges