The Indian government has ordered a survey to examine the health impacts of river pollution, a decision that comes at a time when it is grappling with the country’s biggest water pollution crisis since World War II.
The country’s health ministry has ordered that a comprehensive survey be conducted in the next three months, in order to ensure that river pollution is being addressed properly and that the public’s health is being protected, the ministry said on Tuesday.
In an online petition, the health ministry said the survey would be undertaken by an independent team.
The report will be released by the end of September and it will assess the health effects of pollution on river health, the government said.
“This is a major step to tackle pollution, which is the largest source of pollution in the country,” health minister Mukul Rohatgi told reporters.
The health ministry, which oversees water and wastewater treatment, said it would look into how river pollution affects river ecosystems.
Rohatgi said the government would use a number of initiatives to protect the health of the people of the country.
The survey would take into account health indicators of the population in each district, the department of health said in a statement.
A total of 1.2 billion people in India, the world’s second-largest economy, have suffered from water pollution.