NO ACTION TAKENDespite Centre’s direction, State fails to reducepolluted stretches of Kanhan, Kolar rivers
   Date :10-Jul-2024

Kanhan and Kolar
Staff Reporter :
DESPITE directions from the Central Monitoring Committee (CMC) for time bound implementation of Action Plan for polluted river stretches in Nagpur division and to take necessary actions for restoring the water quality of the polluted rivers, the Government of Maharashtra failed to improve the water quality of Kanhan and Kolar rivers even after five years of implementation of the action plan. In the 18th review meeting of CMC which was constituted by National Mission for Clean Ganga, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (DWRRD&GR), Ministry of Jal Shakti, held in January this year, expressed unsatisfaction on the progress on cleaning of polluted river stretches in the all over Maharashtra. DWRRD&GR distributed all polluted river stretches in the country in five categories that are Priority I to V. Kanhan and Kolar rivers of Nagpur division come under the Priority III category.
According to MPCB, the pH level of polluted stretches of Kanhan river which was calculated in December 2023 was highest in last eight years. The pH level of the river in December 2023 was 8.5. The BOD level in the river has decreased as compared to previous years which is a good sign. However, authorities have failed to abate pollution levels in Kolar river in almost every month in 2023. According to the Action Plan for cleaning of polluted stretches of Kanhan River which was prepared in 2019, the administration should have to achieve the river water quality of bathing standards by 2022 and augmentation of river flow and restoration of water quality by 2023. However, both plans are yet to be achieved by the authorities as the sewage is openly flowing into Kanhan and Kolar river even after five years of the Action Plan.
“We are working hard for strict implementation of the rules. We imposed fines to local bodies and industries who are releasing sewage in the river. But, there is a need of seriousness among the local bodies to achieve the target allotted by the government,” Hema Deshpande, Regional Officer, MPCB told ‘The Hitavada’. According to National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, “Maharashtra had 53 polluted river stretches in 2018 which has now increased upto 55 in 2022. Earlier, the sewage generation in Maharashtra was 9,758 MLD which was revised to 8,193 MLD in 2023, and now in 2024 it has been reported to be 10,547 MLD.” In the review meeting, the CMC also asked the State Government to provide action proposed for enhancing the utilisation capacity of the existing STPs along with timelines.