Friday, April 12, 2013

Cleaning the dying rivers in India (again)


Bharatapuzha - Kerala
How often do you find clean running water in rivers, which are unfortunate enough to have major cities in her banks? As my friend once told about Musi River flowing through Hyderabad city, “it’s not river, it’s just a drainage channel”. I had to see it with my eyes to understand what he really meant.

According to recent press release from Ministry of Environment and Forests, GOI, pollution abatement works are going on in various major rivers across 20 states under ‘National River Conservation Plan’ on a cost sharing basis between centre and state.

S. No.
State
State Implementing Agency
River
Funds Released
(Rs. crore)
1
Andhra Pradesh
Public Health Engg. Department.
Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board.
AP Tourism Corporation Ltd.
Godavari & Musi
259.80
2
Bihar
Bihar Rajya Jal Parshad
Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation
Ganga
92.07
3
Jharkhand
Mineral Area Development Authority
Damodar, Ganga & Subarnarekha
4.45
4
Gujarat
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation
Sabarmati, Mindhola
131.76
5
Goa
Deptt. of Science, Technology & Environment
Mandovi
9.26
6
Karnataka
Karnataka Urban Water Supply & Drainage Board
Karnataka State Pollution Control Board
Bhadra, Tunga-bhadra, Cauvery, Tunga & Pennar
47.83
7
Maharastra
Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran
Nasik Municipal Corporation
Kolhapur Municipal Corporation
Krishna, Godavari, Tapi & Panchganga
128.79
8
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board
Public Health Engineering Deptt.

Betwa, Tapti, Wainganga, Khan, Narmada, Kshipra, Beehar, Chambal & Mandakini.
79.0
9
Orissa
Orissa Water Supply and Sewerage Board
Brahmini & Mahanadi
61.41
10
Punjab
Punjab Water Supply & Sewerage Board

Satluj & Beas
321.69
11
Rajasthan
Public Health Engg. Department
Urban Improvement Trust, Kota

Chambal
41.12
12
Tamilnadu
Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board
Tamilnadu Water Supply and Drainage Board
Cauvery, Adyar, Cooum, Vennar, Vaigai & Tambarani
623.65
13
Delhi
Delhi Jal Board.
Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
Yamuna
656.69
14
Haryana
Public Health Engineering Deptt.
Yamuna
305.63
15
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam
Yamuna, Ganga & Gomti, Ramganga
1262.88
16
Uttrakhand
Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam
Ganga
89.40
17
West Bengal
Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority
Commerce & Industries Dept for CETP
Ganga, Damodar & Mahananda
656.22
18
Kerala
Kerala Water Authority
Pamba
2.78
19
Sikkim
Water Security & Public Health Engg. Department, Govt. of Sikkim
Rani Chu
90.41
20
Nagaland
Public Health Engineering Deptt., Govt. of Nagaland
Diphu & Dhansiri
4.50
Total

4628.79


According to this report, we spent around a whopping 4629 crores in cleaning the rivers. However another GOI report states that,

“With the pollution abatement works completed So far, despite significant increase in urbanization, industrialization and growth in population in cities along the banks of river Ganga, the water quality in terms of BOD (Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand) values reported to have improved as compared to the pre-GAP water quality on major monitoring locations. However, the levels of bacterial contamination in terms of fecal coliform are reported to be exceeding the maximum permissible limit at a number of locations”

“The water quality of river Yamuna has not shown the desired improvement owing to a large gap between the demand and availability of sewage treatment capacity and lack of fresh water in the river”

In central India, many small rivers don’t exist even for namesake in off-monsoon season. In my last journey through Madya Pradesh I could see a lot of dry river beds here and there. If this is the situation in December then just imagine what will happen in summer?

In south also situation is not so good. In earlier days Bangalore had a lot of lakes, overtime many lakes were levelled to build big residential areas. As a result, now city is facing severe water shortage. Even in God’s own country – Kerala, blessed with two monsoon and 44 rivers over a small stretch of land in the laps of Western Ghats– condition is not good. At Pattambi, once the river used to touch the bridge on the height of monsoon, now water level is not coming anywhere close to it. Forget about touching the bridge, it is hardly flowing in summer.

Conclusion

It is good to hear that government is spending money in cleaning rivers. At the same time, it is also important to make sure that, an adequate amount of water is flowing through it. It was only other day someone reported about, how the falling water level affects crocodiles in Chambal.

At first we need to make sure that, enough water is flowing through the river to maintain its ecological needs, then we have to make sure that there is enough dissolved Oxygen in river for aquatic species to maintain a healthy life, then comes sewage treatment to make sure that humans can consume the water.

Sajeev.

References

1. Ministry of Environment and Forests, GOI.

1 comment:

  1. jalandhar chiranjiJune 22, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Rivers have been the life line to any society and civilizations formed in the areas abutting the rivers.These have become of such an importance to humans that we consider them sacred and worship. The cities which flourished along the river have become a curse to the river. The population growth led to generation of tons of waste. The encroachments and untreated sewage and industrial effluents are the main culprits for threatened life in the river. Unless the community's whole hearted efforts in controlling these causal factors and Govt.'s continuous regenerating efforts take place simultaneously, the vulnerability of our lifelines persist.

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