Why Uttar Pradesh needs to pay Rs 176 crore for polluting the Ganga

For years, city and state governments have let raw sewage pour into lakes, rivers and the sea, harming public health and the environment. The National Green Tribunal has now started to impose penalties.

Have you ever visited a beach in India and wondered whether the water is safe enough to dip your feet? Or to go for a swim under a mellow sun? At such times your mind might wander, as mine often does, to news reports about seawater that stinks, is laced with black residue, or is suspiciously translucent or yellow-tinted. When it comes to rivers and lakes in our cities, there is no suspicion—the water is quite obviously deadly. The Ganga, at most ghats lining its banks, has dangerously high levels of faecal coliform, a bacteria originating in human faeces.

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Nihar Gokhale

Nihar Gokhale led the Chaos coverage at The Morning Context. Nihar wrote on the environment, the economy and resource conflicts in India. He has reported from across the country on everything from displacement, pollution and environmental violations to land regulation, corruption and human rights. He was earlier associate editor at Land Conflict Watch, and his work has appeared in Scroll, The Wire, IndiaSpend, The Caravan and Mongabay India.

Editor, Chaos