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India: Rivers in India: a reality check by Naresh Singaravelu and Harshita Mishra June 06,2019   |  Source: The Hindu

According to a Niti Aayog report, A Composite Water Management Index, published in June 2018, more than 600 million people in India face high to extreme water crisis in the country. About three-fourth of the households in the country do not have drinking water on their premises.

With nearly 70% of water being contaminated, India is placed 120th amongst 122 countries in the water quality index. On World Environment Day, we present a reality check on some of the mighty rivers of India, and the dire straits they are in.

The Ganga river holds deep religious significance in India with thousands thronging the Ganga’s ghats (banks) every year to bathe and offer prayers. But the alarming levels of pollutants and sewage waste that are discharged into it every day by over 1100 industrial units and several towns situated on its banks, have made it one of the most polluted rivers in the world. A recent report by the Central Pollution Control Board declared that the Ganga water is unfit for bathing, let alone drinking directly. Recently the National Green Tribunal, the apex environmental monitoring body, also directed Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bihar to deposit Rs. 25 lakhs each for not taking adequate steps to curb pollution in the Ganga. Despite launching several clean-up

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