NEW DELHI: With a rise in pollution in rivers across the country, the Centre has for the first time come up with draft criteria for prioritisation of polluted river stretches to help in deciding the level and degree of treatment needed to clean them.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has devised a procedure whereby the monitoring locations may be prioritised in five classes based on availability of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Faecal Coliform (FC) in river water. The Centre has identified 302 polluted river stretches in the country and they are expected to be categorised once the draft is finalised. The comments on the same are invited till January 22.
According to the CPCB, water quality monitoring is an essential component to maintain and restore the wholesomeness of resources by way of prevention and control of pollution as prescribed under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
“However, the Act does not define the level of wholesomeness to be maintained or restored in different water bodies of the country. In view of this, an effort has been made to define it,” said a CPCB official.
The central pollution monitoring body has tried to define the wholesomeness in terms of protection of human uses, and thus, taken human uses of water as base for identification of water quality objectives for different water bodies in the country.
“It was considered ambitious to maintain or restore all natural water body at pristine level which is possible only by taking proper control measures. The level and degree of treatment required can be decided depending on the categorization of the polluted river stretch,” the official added.