Business Standard

Himachal's Sirsa river facing ecological disaster: Green group

IANS  |  Shimla 

Research and Action Collective, a Himachal Pradesh-based watchdog, has asked the and the Surveillance Task Force to look into ecological issues facing the Sirsa river, a tributary of the

In a memorandum on Friday to state-level bodies set up by the (NGT), has highlighted that industrial effluents from Baddi, Barotiwala and Nalagarh industrial areas in district, the discharge from a common effluent treatment plant, illegal dumping of garbage and are the chief sources of threat to the

In September, the Board (CPCB) in its report "River Stretches for Restoration of Water Quality" identified 351 polluted stretches on 323 rivers.

In Himachal, seven river stretches have been identified as "critically polluted" where the "biological oxygen demand" levels of the rivers are above permissible limits. These rivers are: Sukhana, Markanda, Sirsa, Ashwani, stretches of the Beas, Giri and Pabbar.

Following the release of the CPCB report, the (NGT) on September 20 issued order to states to form the River Rejuvenation Committees for identifying the sources and nature of pollution of rivers and make time-bound action plan for reviving them.

The for Himachal comprises of the from and in Roorkee.

The committee has to identify nature and sources of pollutants, device an action plan to mitigate the pollution and revive the health of the river in collaboration with the Control Board for implementation of the plan.

In a follow up order on December 19, the NGT gave all states two months time to complete their action plans.

"This is a very critical order of the NGT and perhaps goes to show that the crisis has assumed huge proportions because today almost 80 to 90 per cent of our surface water sources are lost," member said.

He said the common effluent treatment plant in Kenduwal village in Baddi has failed to address the problem of pollution.

He said thousands of litres of effluents find way to the every day, causing great damage to the aquatic life and leading to fish kills.

The memorandum highlighted the issue of municipal garbage dumping on the floodplains of the in violation of the Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016.

"Sand has been most detrimental to the health of the Sirsa, impacting the flow of the river and causing structural damage to the bridges across the river. It is shocking that the NGT order in 2013 banning sand on river beds has been grossly violated," another Himdhara member Ramanathan S. said in a statement.

The memorandum has sought inclusion of testing for heavy metals like arsenic and mercury in the samples for water quality.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, December 29 2018. 14:46 IST