Following the direction of National Green Tribual (NGT), the state government is set to pay Rs10 crore as performance guarantee to the central pollution control board (CPCB) with assurance of lowering down biochemical oxygen demand below 3mg/litre in seven rivers’ stretches in three years, officials said.
The NGT recently asked the state government to deposit the said amount to the central pollution board as performance guarantee so that the issue could be dealt with serious efforts in a time bound manner.
“Jharkhand is not alone. The performance guarantee was asked from all states having polluted river. The NGT has fixed the rate of guarantee on the basis of pollution level in rivers. Since Jharkhand has seven stretches of seven rivers, the state was asked to pay Rs 10 crore as performance guarantee,” said Jharkhand state pollution control board (JSPCB) chairman AK Rastogi. Rastogi, however, claims Jharkhand stands at four in the river pollution category, which means pollution level is less in rivers of the state.
The stretches of seven rivers Garga, Sankh, Subarnarekha, Damodaro, Jumar, Konar and Nalkari – would go under rejuvenation drive in next three years. The JSPCB has submitted its action plan to the CPCB suggesting ways to reduce pollution level in the stretches.
According to the action plan report, highest BOD level at 8.4mg/litre was found at 10-km stretch of Sankh river, while 6.2mg/litre was recorded at eight kilometre stretch of Garga river along Telmuchu. BOD level at 3.4mg/litre to 10mg/litre was found at 120-km stretch of Subarnarekha river, while 3.9mg/litre BOD found at on 12-km stretch of Damodar near Phusro, Bhandaridah and Dhanbad. Similarly, the BOD level from 3.3mg/litre to 3.8 mg/litre was found on stretches of Jumar, Konar and Nalkari. “We have been given three-year timeline to bring down the BOD level from the stretches below 3mg/litre,” said JSPCB member secretary Rajiv Lochan Bakshi.
Experts say BOD causes a serious threat to the aquatic life due to the depletion of dissolved oxygen. They blame large-scale mining operations in the state for river pollution.
A JSPCB official said about 130 million litres of industrial effluents and 65 million litres of untreated domestic water are released to Damodar drainage system.
The JSPCB suggested hordes of measures in its action plan to reduce the pollution in rivers.
The measures suggested for industries are setting up effluent treatment plants, adaption of zero liquid discharge concept by industries, tailing ponds management plans such as dewatering and drying, water recovery and re-use and discharge legislation compliance.
Pollution abatement measures at domestic source suggested under the action plan included sewerage systems to capture raw sewage flowing into the rivers though open drains and diverting them for treatment and setting up sewage treatment plants for treating diverted sewage.