10:38 pm - Thursday November 5, 2015

Nearly 50 dead bodies found in river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh; probe ordered

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Nearly 50 bodies were found in the revered River Ganga in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district after which the administration has ordered probe.

Dogs, crows and vultures dug into bodies as they had reached the bank due to low water level, posing major environment challenges in the areas under Unnao District.

A district official, Suraj Prasad, promised action after probe.

“There are few bodies that have been found on the Periyar bank of the River Ganges. I have asked the police and my staff to probe it. Action will be taken after the probe how the bodies came into it. It could be that some bodies were submerged after the death. They came on the back due to low water level,” said Prasad.

Hindus submerge bodies or its ashes in the revered river for salvation.

Residents blamed the state as well as the federal government for it.

“The environment is being polluted and it is a very shameful thing. Both the federal government and state government are responsible for it,” said resident, Alok Dikshit.

People bathe in the Ganges in an act of ritual purification, yet the 2,500 km river stretching from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal is full of industrial effluent and untreated sewage, its banks strewn with garbage.

Previous attempts to clean up the river, including introducing flesh-eating turtles to devour the charred remains of the dead cremated on its banks, have failed due to a lack of planning or coordination.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, elected to represent the 3,000-year-old riverside city of Varanasi, has taken personal responsibility to clean up the river, as part of a broader push to husband the country’s scarce water resources and improve standards of public health and hygiene.

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