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Government informs Rajya Sabha, it has no information on number of Covid bodies dumped in Ganges.

During the peak of India’s second Covid-19 wave, the sight of dead corpses floating in the Ganges stunned the nation. It not only cast doubt on data on the true Covid number of fatalities in the country, but it also raised worries about probable water pollution and viral propagation.

After ten months, the government told Parliament that it had no idea how many dead bodies were dumped in the Ganges. In response to TMC MP Derek O’Brien’s query, the Jal Shakti Ministry stated that details on the number of Covid-19 linked dead corpses anticipated to have been discarded in the River Ganges are not accessible.

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In his two-part inquiry, the TMC MP also inquired about the steps taken to eliminate these remains and dispose of them in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines. In response, the ministry stated that the Centre has worked with states to ensure dignified disposal of deceased in accordance with Covid-19 norms.

According to the government, several advisories were issued by both the NMCG and the ministry to concerned officials in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal, as well as District Ganga Committees, to ensure proper handling, management, and disposal of dead bodies by the State authorities in accordance with the Covid-19 protocol and to ensure the protection of the River Ganga.

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All actions taken have resulted in coordinated action at the state level toward cremation of dead bodies in accordance with Government of India protocols, providing the required financial help to deserving families for the cremation of dead bodies, and regular surveillance of river channel and river banks, it said.

Aside from that, the ministry stated that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is conducting water quality assessments of the Ganga at 97 places in five major stem states via the appropriate State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs). This quality evaluation is part of the Namami Gange Programme.

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