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Water Quality Improves in 180 rivers Across the Country: Bishweswar Tudu

Central Pollution Control Board, State Pollution Control Boards and Pollution Control Committees have been monitoring water quality of different water bodies in the states and UTs all over the country, wrote Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Bishweswar Tudu, in a reply to Lok Sabha.

Stuti Das
Ganga, Damodar, Krishna, Cauvery, Mandovi, Mahanadi have been brought down on the priority class of pollution control from 4th to 5th
Ganga, Damodar, Krishna, Cauvery, Mandovi, Mahanadi have been brought down on the priority class of pollution control from 4th to 5th

The National Water Quality Monitoring Programme has been undertaken by Pollution Boards of states and UTs to assess the pollution in the water bodies. The Central Pollution Control Board carries out water quality checks at regular intervals. 

On the basis of the September 2018 report, the Central Pollution Control Board identified  a total number of 351 polluted stretches of water in 323 rivers with the Biochemical Oxygen Demand which is an indicator of organic pollution. 

Later in 2018, improvement of the quality of water was noticed in 180 stretches out of 351 polluted stretches. 106 stretches out of those 180 have completely come out of the list of polluted stretches and 74 others have been moved down to lower priority in the list. In 2019 & 2021, the survey of the Central Pollution Control Board recognized 311 polluted river stretches in 279 rivers. 

The Namami Gange for rivers in Ganga basin, and the National River Conservation Plan for other rivers are two schemes which are implemented by the Ministry to aid States and UTs  by providing financial and technical support. National River Conservation Plan is taken up to intercept and divert raw sewage, constructing sewerage systems, setting up sewage treatment plants, low cost sanitation, ghat development and so on. 

Data revealed by the Ministry states that 36 rivers in 80 towns spread out in 16 States in the country have been sanctioned cost of projects as Rs. 6,248.16 crore for polluted stretches, and sewage treatment capacity of 2,745.7 MLD taken up. 406 projects, including 176 projects for sewage treatment of 5,270 MLD and a sewer network of 5,214 km, were sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 32,898 crore against which sewage treatment capacity of 1,858 MLD under Namami Gange programme.

Sewage infrastructure has been undertaken under programmes like the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation and the Smart Cities Mission of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs. Apart from this the Govt. has issued notification on release of industrial pollutants into the rivers, with proper guidelines. Based on the Comprehensive Environment Pollution Index, critically polluted areas have been given time-targeted action plans along with regular inspections of Grossly Polluting Industries by the center. 

In compliance with the orders issued by the National Green Tribunal, States and UTs are required to implement action plans under stipulated timeline which are reviewed at the Central level by the Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt. of India. 

According to data shared by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, major rivers like Ganga, Damodar, Krishna, Cauvery, Mandovi, Mahanadi have been brought down on the priority class from 4th to 5th on post 2022 review. 

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