Over 100 locations along 48 river stretches in Kerala found unfit for bathing

State Pollution Control Board monitored 131 locations along 61 river stretches last year; only 27 complied with Environment (Protection) Rules

Published - July 09, 2024 07:55 pm IST - KOCHI

Nearly 103 monitoring locations along 48 river stretches in Kerala identified under the National Water Quality Monitoring Programme of the Central Pollution Control Board were found not complying with the norms under the primary water quality criteria for bathing in 2023.

The Kerala State Pollution Control Board had monitored 131 locations along 61 river stretches in the State last year as part of the nationwide programme. Only 27 locations were found complying with the criteria fixed as per the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986.

As per the primary water quality criteria for bathing, the faecal coliform count has to be less than 2500 MPN/100 mL; faecal streptococci less than 500 MPN/100 mL; pH between 6.5 and 8.5; dissolved oxygen greater than 5 mg/l; and biological oxygen demand less than 3 mg/l.

The CPCB revealed the poor water quality along the monitoring locations in its status report filed before the Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal in New Delhi on July 8. It was submitted in response to the suo motu case taken by the tribunal on the basis of The Hindu report ‘More river stretches are now critically polluted: CPCB’ published on September 18, 2018.

In 2022, 123 locations on 61 river stretches were monitored. Of this, 101 locations along 50 river stretches were found not complying with the primary water quality criteria for bathing water. Only 22 locations were complying with the norms in 2022.

The report stated that the number of polluted river stretches in the State has come down from 21 in 2018 to 18 in 2022. Of the 18, 15 are under priority 5 (biological oxygen demand between 3-6 mg/l); 2 under priority 4 (BOD 6-10 mg/l) and one under priority 3 (10-20 mg/l).

The Central Monitoring Committee set up by the tribunal in connection with the issue of polluted river stretches had pointed out in January this year that Kerala needed to take appropriate measures to bridge the gap in the treatment of sewage and solid waste.

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