- Environment ministry announces plans for river conservation, rejuvenation
- 302 stretches on 275 rivers are polluted: Central Pollution Control Board
- River rejuvenation plan will be implemented in 9 most polluted stretches
New Delhi: Several rivers of the country are polluted and dying a slow death. Considering the pitiable situation of the rivers, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan chaired a meeting of the officials of Environment Ministry and other agencies on January 24, 2018. The environment ministry announced the new strategies it plans to adopt for conservation and rejuvenation of major river water systems, stating that focus will now be on the entire river basin and not only on tackling pollution load.
Terming the new approach for rejuvenation of rivers as holistic, Dr Harsh Vardhan said,
Wherein water management and environment management are taken together for implementation to restore the lost ecology of the polluted stretch of the rivers.
He further talked about the current strategy for conservation of rivers and said that was limited to tackling pollution load from domestic wastewater and regulation of industrial pollution.
According to India’s pollution watchdog, Central Pollution Control Board, based on Bio-Chemical Oxygen Demand- a critical parameter for water quality, there are 302 stretches on 275 rivers in the country that are polluted.
Dr Vardhan shared the tentative plan which is to start with few stretches and then move on to other stretches in of the country.
The release quoted him as saying,
To begin with, we need to try it out on a few stretches in the country covering sub-basin or catchment area of the river.
“Chaired a meeting of officials of Environment Ministry and other agencies to draw up a new strategy for conservation and rejuvenation of rivers, which takes the entire river basin for conservation. Initially 9 most polluted stretches will be taken up for conservation and rejuvenation”, he tweeted.
Chaired a meeting of officials of #EnvironmentMinistry & other agencies to draw up a new strategy for #Conservation&Rejuvenation of rivers, which takes the entire river basin for conservation. Initially 9 most polluted stretches will be taken up for conservation & rejuvenation. pic.twitter.com/DfHseTLnsS
— Dr. Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 24, 2018
He shared the plan to treat sewage in these nine selected river stretches, which are the most significant polluters, and said that independent institutions like IIT will be roped in to come up with river basin management and rejuvenation plan. The projects will be taken up immediately and it would be made mandatory.
Since enforcement of provisions of the Water Act and Environment (Protection) Act comes under the local bodies in respective states, the Environment Ministry plans to set up sewage management system with private participation, he said.
Dr Vardhan added,
Some of the other actions include watershed management, construction of small check-dams along the catchment area, scientific assessment of quantum of environmental flow in each stretch, rejuvenation of lakes and wetlands along the river basin and protection of floodplains from encroachment.
Focusing on implementation plan for Ganga river basin, Dr Vardhan decided to soon call a meeting of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
With inputs from IANS