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Popular Indian beach resort unfit for swimming

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July 2, 2011, 10:06 a.m. | World — by Associated Press

An Indian man holds up a packet containing a live sardine which will be smeared with secret herbs and then swallowed, believed to be a cure for asthma, in Hyderabad, India.
© AP

Scientists are warning that India's most popular Goa beaches have become unfit for swimming and fishing because of contamination by sewage water. The government-run National Institute of Oceanography says the level of fecal coliform bacteria in coastal waters and rivers is much higher than the accepted safety standards.

Senior scientist at the institute N. Ramaiah said Friday that the contamination has been measured at 190 so-called colony forming units while safety levels should be at 100 units.

Goa is one of the most sought after beach destinations in India. It attracts nearly 2.6 million tourists annually, including nearly half a million foreigners, mostly from Britain, Russia and Germany.
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