Cleaning Ganga was one of the reason why people chose BJP in 2014. They reacted well and launched Namami Gange Program in the Budget 2014. Under this program, the Government sanctioned more than Rs. 2000 crores in order to clean the river. The recent survey by CPCB reveals the ineffectiveness of the program.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), only one out of 39 locations through which the Ganga river flows had clean water in the post-monsoon period this year. 37 of the 41 locations reported moderate to severe water pollution in the pre-monsoon period this year. These facts are based on the ‘Biological Water Quality Assessment of the River Ganga (2017-18)’ report which was recently made public by the CPCB in compliance with a Supreme Court direction.
There are 5 water quality classes – Clean (A), Slight Pollution (B), Moderate Pollution (C), Heavy Pollution (D) and Severe Pollution (E). Only 4 locations are under A or B classes during the pre-monsoon period. These numbers change after monsoon and at only one location, Haridwar, the river is ‘clean’.
River Pandu and River Varuna the culprits
According to the report, 34 areas showed moderate pollution in the river while three areas recorded severe pollution in the pre-monsoon period in 2017-18. The major reason, according to the report, was assimilation of River Pandu and River Varuna into the mainstream. These rivers carry pollution loads with them and the mainstream Ganga becomes severely polluted. In another study titled Comparison of Biological Water Quality of River Ganga (2014-18), it was found that Ramganga and Garra river are the culprits.
“On mainstream of River Ganga, although none of the locations was found to be severely polluted most are in moderate pollution range,” the study said. As many as 37 of the 41 locations through which the river flows, reported moderate to severe pollution in the pre-monsoon period this year, it said.
Failure of Namami Gange?
Well, it is not a question actually. It is quite obvious from the results. The water quality remain stagnant at most of the locations in the past four years. At some locations, Jagjeetpur in Uttarakhand and Kanpur, Prayagraj and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the quality deteriorated further from 2014-15 levels.
In 2017-18, water quality at Haridwar Barrage was cleanest during both pre-and post-monsoon period while it was reported to be severely polluted at different monitoring locations in Kanpur and Varanasi during the pre-monsoon phase, it said.
“Efforts must be made to control the pollution so that all locations may comply with at least ‘B’ class water quality,” the study said. Class B water quality means the river must be rejuvenated to support aquatic life.