The health ministry on Monday said that it will initiate a study to find out if the water of the Ganga river has medicinal properties to destroy various kinds of bacteria and microbes.
This would be the first of its kind research that will also check if the water of the Ganga river, considered sacred, can be used for holistic health purpose.
"In a world where new and powerful bacteria have gained resistance against powerful drugs, such a study, which would explore and examine the unique properties of water of the Ganga, which is believed to not only cleanse itself by destroying germs and microbes present in it, but also purifies the water, is worth conducting," Health Minister J.P. Nadda said, addressing a workshop on the agenda of the research at AIIMS.
Water Resource Minister Uma Bharti was also present on the occasion.
"It is the mandate of the government not only to clean the river but to also rejuvenate it," Nadda said.
He said the "valuable scientific evidence generated as a result of this research and in-depth study will help to understand the medicinal properties of the Ganga water".
Bharti highlighted that despite crores of people taking a dip in the river during numerous religious occasions very year, the river has not led to any pandemic or epidemic.
"This had to be the consequence of some self-purifying power of the river water which prevented its deterioration," she stated.
She added that the study will help in using the Ganga water with this unique property for a larger welfare and health of mankind.
Beside the government extending financial help, the ministry has said, several researchers from premier institutions like All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), IITs Kanpur and Roorkee, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and National Botanical Research Institute will be participating in this detailed study.