The Central Pollution Control Board has declared Ganga water unfit for “direct drinking” and bathing in most of the Uttar Pradesh-West Bengal stretch. The pollution control board’s findings are based on data gathered from the live monitoring stations set up at 86 locations in the Ganga basin.

The data indicates that only seven out of 86 locations have been found to be fit to consume after proper disinfection. Eighteen spots have been found to be fit for bathing.

The board shared a map where it has demarcated areas where the river has a high level of coliform bacteria. “It is advised not to consume river water directly,” the board said.

In 2014, the Centre had launched the Rs 20,000-crore Namami Gange project to revive the river. The Ministry of Environment, however, claimed that its efforts have led to a reduction in industrial pollution in the river, NDTV reported.

“The Namami Gange is a very ambitious programme initiated by the Ministry of Water Resources and it is implementing it,” Union Environment Secretary CK Mishra said. “On the banks of River Ganga, there are over 1,100 industrial units which discharge their waste into the river. Today, not a single industry is discharging black waste in the river. That is the level to which we have brought it,”

Mishra said the river’s situation was “not a happy one” but that work was under way. “Work is going on and it will take a little while and at least every day we monitor the water quality,” Mishra said.