River water pollution causes concern

The Samikhsya Bureau

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Jal Shakti has expressed its concern over the rising pollution of the river water in India.

Rivers in the country are polluted and contaminated mainly due to discharge of untreated and partially treated sewage from cities/ towns and industrial effluents in their respective catchments, the Ministry analysed.

Non-point sources of pollution like agricultural runoff, open defecation, runoff from solid waste dump sites, etc. also contribute to pollution of rivers, it added.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in collaboration with the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs)/Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) is regularly monitoring the water quality of rivers and other water bodies in the country through a network of monitoring stations, the Ministry officials said.

As per CPCB report of September 2018, 351 polluted river stretches have been identified on 323 rivers based on monitoring results in terms of Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) levels, an indicator of organic pollution. State-wise details of polluted river stretches are given below, the Ministry data revealed.

For strengthening the monitoring mechanism and effective compliance through self-regulatory mechanism, CPCB has directed all 17 categories of highly polluting industries; including sugar industries, to install Continuous Effluent/ Emission Monitoring Systems (OCEMS) for keeping a constant vigil on pollution levels.

CPCB started inspection of the 17 categories of highly polluting industries from 2016-17 onwards based on the computer-generated short message service (SMS) alerts owing to violation of effluent and emission standards recorded in OCEMS installed in these industries.

CPCB has identified 2968 grossly polluting industries (GPIs) in the country. Out of these, 2318 industries are operational and 650 industries have closed down on their own.

Out of the 2318 operational industries, 2190 industries are complying with prescribed environmental standards, whereas 128 are non-complying.

Accordingly, show-cause notices have been issued to 56 non-complying industries, closure directions have been issued to 55 industries and legal cases have been filed against two industries, the Ministry revealed.