Govt still has miles away from a clean Ganga: CPCB

Govt still has miles away from a clean Ganga: CPCB

Courtesy : Nationalist Bureau24/12/2018 09:02

NEW DELHI: At a time when the Centre is pushing for early completion of all its river-cleaning projects, the country's central pollution watchdog has made public its latest report on water quality of river Ganga showing how the government still has miles to go before it could achieve its goal of rejuvenating the river.

 The report on 'Biological Water Quality Assessment of the River Ganga (2017-18)' shows that the water quality of the river was either clean or slightly polluted (bathing standard or having a standard which could support aquatic life) at only four out of 41 locations during the pre-monsoon phase and at only one out of 39 locations in post-monsoon period.

 The watchdog Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in its bio-monitoring report shares its qualitative analysis of 80 samples (taken during pre- and post-monsoon period) and puts them under five water quality classes clean (A), slight pollution (B), moderate pollution (C), heavy pollution (D) and severe pollution (E). The report also analysed the comparative water quality data from 2014 to 2018, showing hardly any improvement at most of the locations in the past four years.

 Water quality at some locations (Jagjeetpur in Uttarakhand and Kanpur, Allahabad and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh) had even deteriorated in 2017-18 as compared to 2014-15. In 2017-18, water quality at Haridwar Barrage was cleanest during both pre-and post-monsoon period while it was reported to be severely polluted at different monitoring locations in Kanpur and Varanasi during the pre-monsoon phase.

 It said "efforts must be made to control the pollution so that all locations may comply with at least 'B' class water quality" - it means the river must be rejuvenated in such a way that it could support aquatic life.

The report is based on bio-monitoring which is biological surveillance of benthic macro-invertebrate (BMI) communities dwelling in fresh water bodies. Such kind of study is considered an effective method for assessing biological health of aquatic ecosystems.

Noting effectiveness of such analysis, the CPCB says that various physical-chemical and bacterial parameters (BOD, COD, DO, temperature, pH, total coliforms, faecal coliforms etc.) provide only the "momentary account of water quality".

"The biological monitoring, on the other hand, has much longer dimension since the aquatic biota can be affected by chemical and/or hydrological events that may have lasted only a few days, some months or even years before monitoring was carried out," says the report which the CPCB had made public after being directed by the Supreme Court.

Dream of clean Ganga within reach: Gadkari

Union water resource minister Nitin Gadkari on Froday claimed that the dream of clean Ganga was within reach as most of the ongoing work had started showing result on the ground. Making the river cleaner by almost to 70 to 80% by march next year and rest by 2020.

On a day when central pollution watch dog report made apparent the tall challenge the facing the government in cleaning the national river. Gadkari also said that efforts were being made to ensure uninterrupted flow of water round the year by may next year.

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