Keeping a check on water pollution

10/01/2020

Water pollution is a major environmental issue in India. The largest source of water pollution in India is untreated sewage.Other sources of pollution include agricultural runoff and unregulated small scale industry. Most rivers, lakes and surface water in India are polluted due to industries, untreated sewage and solid wastes. Discharge of untreated sewage is the single most important source of pollution of surface and ground water in India. There is a large gap between generation and treatment of domestic waste water in India. The problem is not only that India lacks sufficient treatment capacity but also that the sewage treatment plants that exist do not operate and are not maintained. The majority of the government-owned sewage treatment plants remain closed most of the time due to improper design or poor maintenance or lack of reliable electricity supply to operate the plants, together with absentee employees and poor management. The waste water generated in these areas normally percolates into the soil or evaporates. The uncollected waste accumulates in the urban areas causing unhygienic conditions and releasing pollutants that leach into surface and groundwater.
However, the much-hyped action plan aimed at checking pollution of River Chenab in Akhnoor area has remained confined to the papers only as different Government agencies, who were supposed to initiate steps to reverse the present situation, have only acted as mute spectators. Due to this, the water in vast stretch of river would continue to get polluted uninterruptedly. The shocking aspect is that there is neither any industrial estate nor any other industrial activity along the polluted stretch of River Chenab and water is being generally polluted by disposal of untreated sewage, unabated disposal of municipal solid waste, unauthorized dumping of construction and demolition wastes and pollution from minor/ major establishments and three main drains are discharging untreated sewage with common physico-chemical characteristics directly into River Chenab near Jio Pota Mandir and other downstream locations as there is no Sewage Treatment Plant for the Akhnoor town. There is no proper treatment facility for municipal solid waste being generated from households and other activities to the tune of 9 metric tonne per day in the town and the same is being dumped in open along the bank of River Chenab. The administration should chalk out anaction planto put a full-stop on the pollution of River Chenab.

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