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  • 04 August, 2021

  • 15 Min Read

Government efforts to clean river

Government efforts to clean river

Cleaning and rejuvenation of rivers is an ongoing activity. It is the responsibility of the States/Union Territories (UTs) and local bodies to ensure the required treatment of sewage and industrial effluents to the prescribed norms before discharging into rivers and other water bodies, coastal waters or land to prevent and control of pollution therein.

  • For the conservation of rivers, this Ministry has been supplementing efforts of the States/UTs by providing financial and technical assistance for the abatement of pollution in identified stretches of rivers in the country through the Central Sector Scheme of Namami Gange for rivers in the Ganga basin and the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) for other rivers.
  • In addition, sewerage infrastructure is created under programs like Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Smart Cities Mission of Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs.
  • As per the Provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution), the Act 1974, industrial units are required to install effluent treatment plants (ETPs) and treat their effluents to comply with stipulated environmental standards before discharging into river and water bodies. Accordingly, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) and Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) monitor industries with respect to effluent discharge standards and take action for non-compliance under provisions of these Acts.
  • The Central Government has notified General Discharge Standards and also industry-specific effluent discharge standards under the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 which are required to be complied by the industrial units, STPs and/or the CETPs for the prevention and control of pollution in water bodies. In case of non-compliance with the prescribed norms, punitive actions are taken by the regulatory bodies under the relevant statutory provisions.
  • CPCB has issued directions from time to time to the concerned State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) and the urban local bodies to ensure required treatment of municipal and industrial waste waters before discharging to rivers Satluj, Beas and their tributaries to prevent contamination of these rivers. Based on inspections carried out by CPCB in June, 2021, actions have been initiated as per the statutory provisions against the STPs, CETPs and the ETPs of grossly water polluting units found non-compliant.
  • Besides, in compliance of the orders of National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Original Application No.673/2018 regarding rejuvenation of polluted river stretches in the country, States/UTs are required to implement approved action plans for restoration of the polluted stretches in their jurisdiction as identified by CPCB in their report of 2018, within the stipulated timelines. As per the orders of NGT, regular review on implementation of action plans is undertaken in the States/UTs and also at Central level.
  • Proposals for pollution abatement works in towns along polluted river stretches are received from the States/UTs from time to time for consideration under NRCP and sanctioned based on their prioritization, conformity with NRCP guidelines, availability of plan funds, etc.
  • NRCP has so far covered polluted stretches on 34 rivers in 77 towns spread over 16 States in the country at a sanctioned cost of Rs.5965.90 crore and sewage treatment capacity of 2522.03 million litres per day (MLD) has been created under the programme. Under the Namami Gange programme, a total of 346 projects, including 158 projects for sewage treatment of 4948 MLD and sewer network of 5213 kms., have been sanctioned at a cost of Rs.30235 crore.
  • This has resulted in reduction of pollution load being discharged hitherto in various rivers and the output of the initiatives yield improvement in terms of water quality of the rivers.

Source: PIB

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