People in Gorakhpur have lodged complaints about several ailments that they suffer from because of the polluted Ami river that flows through the district.
The industrial waste and chemicals flowing in the waters have not only proved lethal for animals, but also to villagers living on its banks.
"Earlier, we used to take bath, wash our utensils and cook food using this water. But now we will die if we drink this water. All the animals have started dying after drinking this water. A lot of diseases have spread due to this water," said Vishwa Vijay Singh, a resident.
The waters of the Ami River flows across eastern Uttar Pradesh's Siddarthnagar, Basti and Gorakhpur Districts.
It has been referred to in Buddhist era texts, and said to be on the verge of extinction. Units located in the Gorakhpur Industrial Development Authority (GIDA), which do not have purification plants, are the main cause of pollution in the river.
"Among all the rivers in our area, Ami's water is the most polluted. Common diseases like diarrhoea are caused due to polluted water. Therefore Ami's water is really harmful for the people of that area," said Trilok Ranjan, a doctor.
Several campaigns were initiated in the past to save the Ami, but the continued apathy of the authorities has resulted in further deterioration of the river.
Residents allege that the government's pollution control bodies have taken no initiative. Industrial units attached to GIDA provide employment to a section of villagers who do not raise their voices against the pollution.
Other villagers have formed committees to make the river pollution-free and this campaign is gathering momentum.