Clean Ganga by 2020, says Prime Minister

New Delhi: Asserting that the UPA government was committed to cleaning up the Ganga, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said no untreated waste and industrial effluents would flow into the river by 2020.

“Under ‘Mission Clean Ganga’, it would be ensured that by 2020 no untreated municipal sewage and industrial effluents flow into the Ganga,” Dr. Singh said, in the Report to the People on completion of one year of the UPA’s second term in office.

He said the investment required for the Mission would be shared “suitably” between the Centre and the State governments.

The Prime Minister said an empowered steering committee has been constituted for appraisal and sanction of projects on a fast track basis.

Projects for approximately Rs. 1,390 crore have been approved so far. The Centre had recently set up a Ganga River Basin Authority to monitor the implementation of the clean-up project and other development schemes.

Dr. Singh said discussions had been initiated for long-term support of the World Bank and a project preparation facility from the international body has been approved. — PTI

From THE HINDU

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Ganga water contaminated with heavy metals

VARANASI: The Ganga water in Varanasi is contaminated with heavy metals like cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn).

The scientists of the Centre of Advanced Study in Botany, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), led by Dr J Pandey, conducted a study to investigate the relationship between the concentrations of heavy metals in mid-stream Ganga water and their input through atmospheric deposition at Varanasi.

“We investigated the mid-stream water quality of river Ganga as influenced by aerially driven heavy metals at Varanasi,” said Pandey adding that 12 sampling stations were selected along a 20-km long stretch of the river from Adalpura to Rajghat. The water samples collected at fortnightly intervals from all the sites were analysed for cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, lead and zinc. The data revealed that the mid-stream water of river Ganga is invariably contaminated by these heavy metals. Highest concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni and Pb were recorded during winter and that of Zn during the summer season.

According to the study, concentrations of all the heavy metals were high in down-stream sampling stations. Correlation analysis showed that heavy metal concentration in mid-stream water had significant positive relationship with rate of atmospheric deposition at respective sites. Although the concentrations of these metals in water remained below the permissible limits of Indian standards for drinking water, levels of Cd, Ni and Pb at three stations were above the internationally recommended (WHO) maximum admissible concentrations (MAC). These observations suggest that use of such water for drinking may lead to potential health risk in long run. The study has further relevance in understanding the atmosphere-water interaction in polluted environment and for management of water bodies.

The sites from where samples were picked included Adalpura, Bypass upstream, Bypass downstream, Samne Ghat, Ravidas Park, Assi Ghat, Dandi Ghat, Dashaswamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Lal Ghat, Raj Ghat upstream and Raj Ghat downstream. The study was conducted for two years at the selected sites from March, 2006 to February, 2008. According to Pandey, “among the heavy metals studied, atmospheric deposition was highest for Zn and lowest for Cd. Atmospheric deposition of Pb also remained high.”

The main sources of these elements into the atmosphere are urban-industrial emissions in adjoining areas. Vehicular emission is the main contributor to urban particulate. Re-suspension of the land-deposited particulate could further substantiate atmospheric loading and deposition of heavy metals. Predominant south-westerly wind has further raised the atmospheric loading and transport of heavy metals towards down wind locations.

The study showed that these inputs are in addition to the urban flushing and surface run-off being added to the river. Since streamflow restricts cross stream lateral mixing of surface-fed materials, atmospheric deposition can be considered as the major factor responsible for mid-stream heavy metal contamination of river Ganga. The other members of the team are K Subhashish and Richa Pandey. The study was also published in the journal of International Society for Tropical Ecology this year.

From TOI

At Sangam, WWF plans to come up with dolphin sanctuary

After its ‘Save Tiger’ campaign for protecting the Big Cat in India, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is now channeling its resources to protect the Gangetic Dolphin — another endangered species in the country.

The Sangam in Allahabad would soon be declared as an international tourist spot as the WWF, the world’s leading organisation for wild conservation, plans to assist the Indian government in developing a world-class Dolphin sanctuary at Sangam.

“A team of six WWF members headed by Sandeep Behna, in-charge of Indian Dolphin, surveyed the entire Ganga stretch in this region up to Mirzapur. The survey found an abundance of Indian dolphins in the region with their number being around 300,” said District Forest Officer S N Mishra.    

The WWF team stayed in Allahabad for five days and surveyed stretches across river Ganga, Yamuna and other tributaries in Fatehpur, Kaushambi, Allahabad, Pratapgarh and Mirzapur areas, said a team member, adding they would soon submit a report to the WWF committee.

“If the Centre gives its nod to the WWF proposal for partnership in conservation of dolphins, the organisation will soon start work for the conservation, promotion and protection of dolphins besides developing Sangam as a world-class dolphin sanctuary,” said the team member.

The Forest department, in association with the district administration, would now make a fresh project for the dolphin sanctuary at Sangam in light of the WWF survey report.

After being sent to the state government, the proposal would be forwarded to the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment for approval, said District Magistrate Sanjay Prashad.

It was in September that the state government had sent a Rs-60 crore proposal to the Centre for the proposed dolphin sanctuary in Sangam. The proposal, however, is still pending with the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment, which had recently declared the dolphin as the National Aquatic Animal.

According to the report of the Forest department as well as the WWF survey, dolphins inhabit a particular area falling between Sangam and Sirsa. It’s a 20-km stretch from south east of Sangam up to Sirsa.

The Gangetic Dolphin is found mostly in Bihar — between Patna and Bhagalpur. Environmentalists have for long raised concerns on their dwindling numbers. There are only 2,000 dolphins in South Asia, it is learnt.

From INDIAN EXPRESS

Hi-tech sewage plant to keep Ganga clean

Haridwar, Jan 31 (PTI) A modern sewage plant to keep the Ganga clean and capable of treating 27 million litres of polluted water will soon start functioning, a project which began as part of the preparations for the Kumbh Mela 2010.

The Rs 21-crore fully automatic plant will use the most advanced cyclic effluent treatment in the world to ensure that Ganga, whose water a recent study had said, was below the standards of the Central Pollution Control Board for bathing, flows clean.

“We are fully ready to treat the sewage. As and when the sewage is transferred here through the pipeline which is being laid by the government, we will start treating it,” Harish Karkera, General Manager (Projects) UPL Environmental Engineers, the firm carrying out the project along with GCEPL told PTI.

The plant, which is about 20 kms outside the main Haridwar city, is next to the 18 million litre sewage treatment plant that is already functioning.

A recent survey by Dehradun-based People’s Science Institute said that the Ganga has been polluted due to continuous discharge of untreated waste and effluents from various drains directly into the river.

“The construction of the project has already been completed and commissioning of the project with raw water is presently in progress. Whatever other work is left, is only related to visual appeal,” Karkera said.

From Yahoo India

India: State-Wise details of rivers covered under the National River Conservation Plan

    S. No.                 State

River

1

Andhra Pradesh Godavari & Musi
2 Bihar Ganga
3 Delhi Yamuna
4 Goa Mandovi
5 Gujarat Sabarmati
6 Haryana Yamuna
7 Jharkhand Damodar, Ganga & Subarnarekha
8 Karnataka Bhadra, Tungabhadra,Cauvery, Tunga & Pennar
9 Kerala Pamba
10 Madhya Pradesh Betwa, Tapti, Wainganga, Khan, Narmada, Kshipra, Beehar, Chambal & Mandakini.
11 Mahrashtra Krishna, Godavari, Tapi and Panchganga
12 Nagaland Diphu & Dhansiri
13 Orissa Brahmini & Mahanadi
14 Punjab Satluj
15 Rajasthan Chambal
16 Sikkim Rani Chu
17 Tamil Nadu Cauvery, Adyar, Cooum, Vennar, Vaigai & Tambarani
18 Uttar Pradesh Yamuna, Ganga & Gomti
19 Uttranchal Ganga
20 West Bengal

Ganga, Damodar & Mahananda

From PIB

Allahabad: Waste water at Magh Mela pollutes Ganga

ALLAHABAD: Waste water generated at the Magh Mela is again diverted into the Ganga and Yamuna. Rajendra Paliwal, president of Prayag Dharam Sangh has handed over a memorandum to the district magistrate and demanded remedial action.

He said that Jal Nigam is entrusted with the work of laying water pipelines in the mela area. All the agencies involved in the work, including Jal Nigam and district administration are aware of the problem but no steps have been taken.

He said that though plans have been made to make the Ganga pollution-free but the reality is that the waste water from the Mela area itself is being diverted in the river.

From TOI

Patna: Authority to check Ganga pollution

PATNA: The state cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to set up a Bihar State Ganga River Basin Authority to deal with the problems of waste management and pollution control in the Ganga river.

The chief minister would head the Authority which would have the ministers for finance, urban development and housing, water resource development, environment and public health engineering department as members. Five experts on environment and ecology would also be nominated as members of the authority.
The chief secretary would be its member, secretary.

State cabinet secretary Girish Shankar said the Authority would have a state executive committee headed by the chief secretary. Principal secretaries/ secretaries of the above-mentioned departments would be nominated as members of the state executive committee.

The MDs or chairman of State Pollution Control Board, Urban Infrastructure Development Authority and Bihar Rajya Jal Parshad would also be nominated as members of the state executive committee, said Shankar.

The cabinet also decided to extend the term of the judicial commission inquiring into the Kahalgaon police firing by two months up to December 31 this year.

From TOI