Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Monday, October 21, 2019

Forget Bellandur Lake, Rivers in Karnataka are the Most Polluted in South India

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just as it's getting its head around solving the problem that is the polluted Bellandur Lake, the Karnataka government has received another body blow, this time from the Central government.

 



A report tabled by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in the Lok Sabha last week, revealed that as many as 15 rivers that drain into Karnataka are among the nation's most polluted. That number is the highest for any South Indian state.

 



But what's more worrying is the fact that all these polluted rivers supply a large quantity of 'quality potable water' to several cities in the state, including Bengaluru. While the city has been primarily concerned with the quality of water in the Vrishabhavathi and Cauvery rivers, the ministry's list adds on several other important rivers that flow across North and Central Karnataka.

 



As per the MoEF documents accessed by BM, across India a total of 302 stretches on 275 rivers have been polluted. While Maharashtra, Assam and Madhya Pradesh occupy the top three slots for major polluted rivers, Karnataka comes in sixth place with as many as 15 rivers that have been intensely polluted. Disturbed by the report, pollution watchdogs have recommended that the state government take up campaigns akin to the Clean-up Ganga and Clean-up Yamuna projects on these rivers.

 

 


All majors rivers polluted in Karnataka

 

 



"The Arkavathi, Bhadra, Bhima, Cauvery, Ghataprabha, Kabini, Kagina, Kali, Krishna, Lakshmanatirtha, Malaprabha, Manjra, Shimsha, Tunabhadra and Tunga rivers in Karnataka have been polluted on various stretches," the report tabled by Prakash Javadekar, minister for MoEF, revealed.

 



Rivers like Cauvery, Kabini, Krishna, Tungabhadra, Tunga, Ghataprabha, Malaprabha and Bhima supply a major share of potable water to towns and cities including Bengaluru, Mysuru, Belagavi, Hubballi-Dharawad, Shivamogga and other towns, according to sources in the irrigation department of the state government.

 



Polluting towns are the villains

 



Painting a bleak picture of the rivers in Karnataka and other parts of India, Javadekar said in his statement that untreated or partially treated sewage from cities and towns and industrial effluents constitute a major source of pollution in rivers.

 


"As per the survey carried out by the Central Pollution Control Board in 2015, 302 polluted river stretches have been identified on 275 rivers based on Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) levels, a key indicator of organic pollution," the minister revealed.

 



Javadekar also explained that it was the duty of respective state governments to lower the pollution in rivers by setting up proper facilities for collection, treatment and transportation of sewage being generated in towns. Supplementing the state's efforts, the Centre has been funding the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) programme and helping states set up sewage treatment plants.

 

 


Clean Cauvery and Nethravathi projects

 

 



Acknowledging the status of pollution in rivers flowing through Karnataka, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board has also recommended alternative measures and is working on taking up major clean-up drives on major rivers.

 



Revealing details to BM, Lakshman, chairperson, KSPCB said, "Our scientific officers have been drawing water samples from rivers and filing reports on a monthly basis and the same has also been communicated to the Centre.

 

 

 

"As per MoEF directions, we have informed the Minor Irrigation and Major Irrigation departments about the possible action that needs to be taken to prevent pollution in these rivers.

 



"In fact, we have already held couple of rounds of talks with the Urban Development department over the treatment of sewage that has been let into rivers that flow alongside these cities"

 



"On the lines of Clean Ganga campaign, we are working on a programme to clean up the Cauvery in Mysuru and the Nethravathi in Dakshina Kannada. While the work on the Cauvery will commence from Srirangapattana in Mandya, the work on Nethravathi will start from Dharmasthala. We are already in talks with the government and soon these projects to free rivers of pollution will see the light of day," Lakshman explained.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Bangalore Mirror