Dehradun: Towns and cities situated on the banks of river Ganges are usually held responsible for polluting the sacred river. But quite contrary to the popular belief, data available through Right to Information Act, tells a different story altogether.

Around six dozen villages across five districts along the course of Ganga between Gaumukh, the source of Ganga, and Har Ki Paudi in Haridwar, are major contributors of pollution in the river. The startling facts were revealed in an RTI application filed by activist Surendra Singh Thapa of Dehradun.

The collected information provided by several departments including irrigation explained that there are 171 villages situated on the river bank along the above said course. The facts revealed that 71 of these villages are significantly adding pollution in the Ganga. And out of these, 40 villages are situated in Uttarkashi district.

Pollutants like Polythene bags are being dumped unabatedly in the river . However, some environmentalist have different take on the issue.

“Ganga is being polluted by cities and not by villages. If there is any problem in some villages, the government must look into it,” said renowned environmentalist Chandi Prasad Bhatt.