Ganga-polluting industries have shot up: Survey

A NEW survey of industries along the Ganga river has revealed far greater number of industries were releasing their polluting waste into the river than was previously known.

The latest survey, carried out by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), shows that there were in fact 1,109 grossly polluting industries along the Ganga river instead of the 764 that were known till now. The survey involved physical inspection of these industries by experts drawn not just from CPCB but also from 11 other institutes, including a few IITs, a government official said.

So far, all pollution control measures being suggested to clean the Ganga river, like restrictions on solid and liquid discharge, installation of online monitoring mechanisms, and setting up of effluent treatment plants, were being applied only on the 764 industrial units. These will now be applicable on the newly identified units as well.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was informed about this new survey and the progress of Ganga cleaning programme at a review meeting on Friday. Top officials from the National Mission for Clean Ganga, CPCB and the Water Resources Ministry gave detailed presentation to the PM on the ongoing activities under the Namami Gange programme that aims to clean and rejuvenate the river.

The officials told the PM that out of the 50 projects needed to close the present gap in sewage treatment capacity on the main stem of the river in Uttar Pradesh, 30 had already been approved and the remaining 20 would be approved in the next two months. They also said that a comprehensive action plan for 2035 would be drawn up and cleared by the end of this year.

The Prime Minister asked officers to raise the public awareness on the need to clean the river, and undertake activities that will ensure public participation in the programme.

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