Government of India: Rivers in the country are polluted mainly due to the discharge of untreated and partially treated sewage from cities/ towns and industrial effluents.
India: According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), there are 2836 Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs) in the country which are discharging their effluents in various water bodies. Out of total 2836 industries, 2180 industries are operational and 656 industries are self-closed. The number of complying and non-complying units are 2053 and 127 respectively. Action taken against the non-complying units includes the issue of show-cause notices to 52 units, issue of closure directions to 56 units and filing of legal cases against 2 units.
Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution), Act 1974
As per the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution), Act 1974, industrial units are required to install effluent treatment plants (ETPs) and treat their effluents to comply with stipulated environmental standards before discharging them into river and water bodies. Accordingly, CPCB, State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs), and Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) monitor industries with respect to effluent discharge standards and take action for non-compliance under provisions of these Acts.
Steps taken by the Government to stop the discharge of industrial effluents into rivers, inter-alia include the issuance of notification of specific discharge standards, revision of the criteria for categorization of industries and issuing directions to all SPCBs/PCCs to adopt the same, issuance of consent to establish/consent to operate by the SPCBs/PCCs, regular and surprise inspections of GPIs for compliance verification against stipulated environmental norms, installation of Online Continuous Effluent Monitoring System (OCEMS) for assessment of effluent quality and compliance status. In addition, the industries are encouraged to reduce their wastewater generation by technological advancement, reuse/recycle of wastewater and maintain Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) where ever possible.
National Green Tribunal (NGT)
Besides, in compliance with the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Original Application No.673/2018 regarding the rejuvenation of polluted river stretches in the country, States/UTs are required to implement approved action plans for the restoration of the polluted stretches in their jurisdiction as identified by CPCB and published in their report of 2018, within the stipulated timelines. As per the orders of NGT, regular review on implementation of action plans is undertaken in the States/UTs and also at the Central level.
The government of India (GOI) has launched the NamamiGange Programme, an integrated umbrella program, aimed to ensure effective abatement of pollution and conservation of river Ganga and its tributaries, including river Yamuna. GOI is supplementing the efforts of the State Governments in addressing the challenges of pollution of river Ganga and its tributaries by providing financial and technical assistance.
Under NamamiGange Programme, 24 sewerage infrastructure projects at an estimated cost of Rs.4773 crore have been sanctioned for the creation/rehabilitation of 1940 Million Litres per Day (MLD) Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) capacity in the Yamuna river basin, including tributaries (Hindon and Chambal) of river Yamuna. These 24 projects are spread in Himachal Pradesh (1 project), Haryana (2 projects), Delhi (10 projects), Uttar Pradesh (10 projects), and Rajasthan (1 project). Out of these 5 projects have been completed.
Monitoring, Regulation, and Enforcement
Stringent monitoring, regulation, and enforcement towards compliance of Grossly Polluting Industries against regulatory framework mandated under Consent mechanism issued in respect of provisions of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 is undertaken through Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) and Pollution Control Committees (PCC). Industry-specific effluent/emission standards are notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change under Schedule-I: ‘Standards for Emission or Discharge of Environmental Pollutants from Various Industries’ of Environment Protection Act, 1986. State Pollution Control Boards and Pollution Control Committees in States and Union Territories respectively are to ensure compliance with these standards. So far, 47 industry-specific effluent standards and 63 industry-specific emission standards have been notified.
Sector-specific Charters are implemented in industrial sectors, viz., Pulp & Paper, Sugar, Distillery, and Textile, and their compliance is verified through regulatory monitoring through technical institutions.
Support for the States
In Haryana, there are 14 Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) with a total capacity of 161.5 MLD and in Delhi, there are 13 CETPs with a capacity of 212.3 MLD in the Yamuna basin.
Financial assistance is also provided under NamamiGangeProgramme to industrial clusters to upgrade/ augment their CETPs. Upgradation of one CETP project in Mathura for the textile industrial cluster has been taken up.
As informed by Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), there are 26 polluted industries identified in Aligarh discharging their treated effluent in Aligarh drain, which is also passing through Hathras district, where 11 polluting industries are identified. This drain ultimately meets river Yamuna at Morewali Dargah in Agra. All the industries are allowed to function with adequate effluent treatment facilities, which are being regulated under provisions of existing environmental laws.
As informed by Aligarh Nagar Nigam, the polluted water of the Aligarh drain and Jafri drain is being treated under a pilot scheme using phytoremediation technology. Further, construction of an STP of 45 MLD capacity has also been taken up by Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam in the town.
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