Pollution of Indian Rivers

>> Thursday, July 30, 2009

About two decades ago, the government of India came to realize that many of the Indian rivers were polluted. A number of reports regarding the levels of pollution in different Indian rivers reached to the government through either the Central Pollution Control Board which is its own agency, or through the Public Sector Laboratories. When the impacts of pollution of these rivers was assessed and reported, the government came to feel the problem and formulate plans for cleaning these rivers. Accordingly, the Ganga Action Plan with an expenditure of Rs. 87 crore was launched.

Action Plans for other Indian rivers like Yamuna and Damodar were also planned with a budgetary provision of Rs. 1,306 crore. Years passed on through the implementation of action plans for these rivers. Now, after two decades experts see that the conditions of these rivers are the same as two decades ago. Experts are of the opinion that mixing of municipal sewage in the river water is the biggest problem as it contributes to about 75% of the pollution. Industries cover the remaining 25%. As per reports, the treatment of only 50% of the sewage of 35 metro cities could have started so far. Currently bout 32% of the sewage generated in 497 class I cities is treated before releasing into the river water.

Now, a sum of Rs. 250 crore has been allocated for the National Ganga Basin Authority – as per the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ report, and a town based approach for the sewage management is being planned at the country level.

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