Centre to monitor lockdown impact on Ganga, Yamuna pollution

The Yamuna river on Aril 8, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Has the lockdown had a measurable impact on the water quality of the Ganga and Yamuna, rivers that have a history of battling pollution?

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) — the arm of the Water Ministry tasked with directing the ₹20,000 crore clean-up of the Ganga — and the Central Pollution Control Board are expected to find out in ten days, officials told The Hindu.

Also read: Union Budget 2019-20: Centre slashes funds for Ganga clean-up

Water samples have been collected from Delhi (Yamuna) and all Ganga basin States, and are in the process of being analysed. While this was also part of the routine water quality monitoring in the river, there was a “special focus” on the impact of lockdown, said D.P. Mathuria, senior NMCG official in charge of water quality management.

Measuring the degree of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and ammonium nitrate would point to whether the lockdown has had an impact. Effluents from industries as well as sewage discharge would impact COD levels, Mr. Mathuria added.

“There are some preliminary indications that the water looks cleaner but a proper analysis is awaited,” he added.

The stoppage of industrial pollutants and industrial waste has definitely had a positive effect on water quality in the Yamuna river, Raghav Chadha, Vice Chairman of the Delhi Jal Board had said last week.

An official added that tests are underway and results are likely later this week.

Municipal sewage usually made up 80% of the Ganga, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, which is why Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) are a key activity under the NMCG. Industrial pollution from tanneries, cane crushing units and others sources come next.

(Inputs from Nikhil Babu.)

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 2:12:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/centre-to-monitor-lockdown-impact-on-ganga-yamuna-pollution/article31330805.ece

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