MUMBAI: The number of polluted river stretches in Maharashtra has increased from 49 to 53 in 2017-18, the highest in the country, as per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). CPCB will soon be releasing a detailed report on it under the National Water Quality Monitoring Programme.
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) claimed in August that the number of polluted river stretches had dropped from 49 to 34.
CPCB told the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that the number of polluted river stretches has increased across India.
Sudhakar, member secretary, CPCB said, “We made a presentation before the NGT and state heads about a revised list of polluted river stretches, which have increased from 302 to 351 across India, with 53 in Maharashtra.”
CPCB analysed 672 water bodies in Maharashtra and found 566 (86 per cent) of them with ‘non-satisfactory’ water quality. CPCB mentioned these analyses to NGT’s principal bench. Analyses are based upon the data that was received by CPCB from state board.
On the basis of amount of biochemical oxygen demand in the water body- or the level of oxygen that plants and animals need for survival, CPCB categorised polluted river stretches.
CPCB categorised stretches with the most pollution as priority 1.
Sudhakar said, “A majority of the priority 1 (water bodies) were from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Pune, with examples such as the Mithi, Mula, Mula-Mutha, Wainganga, and Ulhas, along with river stretches in the Navi Mumbai industrial area,”
However, MPCB only categorized Mithi River as the most polluted river in Maharashtra.
The most significant stretches of pollution highlighted by the CPCB assessment include the Mithi River with a BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) of 250 mg/l.
CPCB has recommended regular assessment of groundwater levels, industrial and domestic pollution, and the installation of sewage treatment plants for treating sewage before its release into natural water bodies to check the pollution.
It also mentioned that Maharashtra had most water quality monitoring stations and it may be the reason behind the state reporting most number of polluted water bodies.
Sudhakar said, “There are 250 water quality monitoring stations across Maharashtra, and MPCB also carries out more monthly monitoring compared to other states.”
YB Sontakke, the joint director, water quality, MPCB said, “We have asked them to clear these issues and send us a final report. Once we get this list, action will begin from our end. This reassessment has been done based on new criteria for polluted river stretches. Thus, our follow up study will factor in all these points.”