With Brahmani River, Odisha’s second largest river, bearing brunt of environmental damage, the State government has decided to install real-time monitoring stations at four locations.
The monitoring stations at Rourkela, Dhenkanal and river Kharasrotal will check if pollution is contributed by industrial projects such as Rourkela Steel Plant, Bhushan Steel Limited and Tata Steel Limited respectively. There will be another station at Talcher where central public sector Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) is operating coal mines.
The Central Pollution Control Board had directed the Odisha State Pollution Control Board to monitor pollution level of Brahmani. According to OSPCB, the water quality monitoring in the river is being done at 19 stations starting from Panposh, Rourkela to Dharmasala-Pottamundai and at seven stations in different tributaries such as Sankh, Koel, Nandira, Kishindjhor and Kharasrota on monthly basis.
“Brahmani water quality at Rourkela and Talcher stretch is not conforming to Class C standard with respect to Biochemical Oxygen Demand or Total Coliform, or both,” says SPCB sources. Similarly, water quality of four tributaries also does not conform to the designated class ‘C’ surface water quality.
The State pollution watch dog, however, attributes high level pollution to discharge of domestic waste water from townships and in-stream uses by people. The Odisha Water Supply and Sewerage Board would expedite the process of domestic waste water treatment in Rourkela, Talcher towns and other places. It is also alleged that chromite mining in Sukinda Valley in Jajpur district also contributes to the pollution.