- Pollution and conservation related issues.
NGT forms Central Monitoring Committee to check river pollution
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: Functions and composition of the committee constituted, river pollution- extent, challenges, concerns and measures needed.
Context: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has formed a Central Monitoring Committee to prepare and enforce a national plan to make over 350 river stretches across the country pollution free.
Composition: The committee would comprise a representative of NITI Aayog, secretaries of Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Environment, the director general of National Mission for Clean Ganga and the Chairman of the Central Pollution Control Board. The Chairman of CPCB will be the nodal authority for coordination. The chief secretaries of the states will act as the nodal agency at the state level.
Objective: The committee has been composed to monitor pollution of rivers, as it has caused serious threat to the safety of water and environment. Besides checking river pollution, the central monitoring committee will coordinate with the River Rejuvenation Committees of the states and oversee the execution of the action plans, taking into account the timelines, budgetary mechanism and other factors.
Crores of rupees have been pumped in for cleaning rivers under the Centre’s National River Conservation Plan (NRCP), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Smart Cities Mission programmes of the Ministry of Urban Development and the “Namami Gange” under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MOWR).
Still pollution level in rivers of India has not shown any sign of improvement. More than 38,000 million litres of waste water goes into the major rivers, water bodies and even percolates into the ground every day. Over and above this there is industrial effluent.
Need of the hour:
- CPCB and the state pollution control boards should launch a nationwide programme on biodiversity monitoring and indexing of the rivers to assess the efficacy of river cleaning programme.
- For the safety of human health and maintaining the sanctity of the rivers, regular hygienic surveys of the rivers should be carried out with reference to fecal coliform and fecal streptococci, as indicated in the primary water quality criteria for bathing waters.
- There is also the need for a regular study of the Indian rivers with regard to biological health and its diversity.
Sources: the hindu.
Mains Question: Examine the factors behind the high levels of pollution in Indian rivers. What can be done to protect our rivers from degradation and slow death. Discuss.