New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) Various pollution abatement initiatives taken up under the Namami Gange Programme (NGP) have resulted in improvement of Ganga river water quality in 2019 as compared to 2014, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Monday.
The dissolved oxygen levels have improved at 27 locations along the river’s course, biological oxygen demand (BOD) levels and faecal coliforms have also improved at 42 and 21 locations, respectively.
Union Minister of State for Jalshakti & Social Justice and Empowerment, Rattan Lal Kataria, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha stated, “The outputs of these projects have started yielding results and the water quality of river Ganga will further improve once all the projects are operationalised.”
As per the minister, the observed water quality indicates that dissolved oxygen which is an indicator of river health has been found to be within acceptable limits of notified primary bathing water quality criteria and satisfactory to support the riverine ecosystem across all seasons and also for almost the entire stretch of river Ganga.
Biological oxygen demand (BOD) has been found within the acceptable limits except marginal exceedance (BOD: 3.15 to 4.2 mg/L) in locations/stretches viz. in Kannauj Downstream (D/S), Bathing Ghat (Bharoghat) to Kala Kankar (Rai Bareilly), Kadaghat (Prayagraj), Mirzapur D/S, Chunar and Varanasi D/S (Malviya Bridge) to Tarighat (Ghazipur) and in West Bengal stretch/location from Tribeni to Dakshineshwar and Garden Reach.
Water quality of Ganga is assessed as per primary water quality criteria for outdoor bathing notified by Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change in terms of potential hydrogen (pH) (6.5-8.5), dissolved oxygen (DO) (a%¿5mg/L), Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) (a%3mg/L) and Faecal Coliform (FC) (a%2500 MPN/100ml).
Water quality of river Ganga is monitored by the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) in five Ganga main stem states at 96 Manual Water Quality stations and data is compiled by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The government has undertaken several initiatives which includes abatement and control of pollution at the source of pollution generation by adopting activities such as establishment/upgradation of Wastewater Treatment Plants for the towns located on Ganga main stem and its tributaries, river front development, construction of Ghats and crematoria surface cleaning activities and solid waste management.