A clean Ganga could enhance dolphins' presence in the river, says expert

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Patna, Oct.11 (ANI): Gangetic dolphins were once found in abundance in the river Ganges. But over the years a steady increase in pollution in the river has dwindled the population of Dolphins.

Experts opine a clean Ganga could increase the presence of dolphins in the holy river.

According to Ravindra Kumar Sinha, a Dolphin expert in Patna, if cleanliness of river Ganges improves, it will play a pivotal role in increasing the number of Dolphins in the river.

"To declare Dolphins as India's National Aquatic Animal means that it is rare, endemic and is just found here. The biggest thing is that Dolphins are mirror of Ganges cleanliness. If the Ganges is pollution-free and clean, the population of Dolphins will increase," says Ravindra Kumar Sinha.

He says that it is important for ecological flow in Ganges to improve the number of marine life including Dolphins in Ganges.

"If we maintain ecological flow in Ganges which means that we ensure flow of water in Ganges and make it pollution free, this will help to improve its condition. And if its condition improves, definitely there will be an increase in the numbers of marine life including tortoise, fishes, alligators and dolphins," says Ravinder, who is also a member of National Ganga River Basin Authority.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Gangetic dolphins are in grave danger with their population declining at a rate of 10 percent annually.

Industrial discharges, sewage, pesticides and the rotting remains of dead bodies have increased pollution levels in the River Ganges over the years despite government promises to clean-up the holy river.

The River Ganga runs its course of over 2,500 kilometres (1,562 miles) from Gangotri in the Himalayas to Ganga Sagar in the Bay of Bengal through 29 cities with a population of over 100,000 each.

Central Government this past week declared the Gangetic Dolphins, as National Aquatic Animal.

Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh had recently said that the return of the Dolphins in increasing number in the river Ganges would be the sole yardstick to gauge the success of rupees 15,000 crore 'Mission Clean Ganga' project. By Ajay Kumar (ANI)

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