The Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) level has identified stretches of four major rivers in Assam as polluted, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
According to a report published by CPCB in February 2015 based on BOD level in rivers, which a key indicator of organic pollution, the stretches of river Bharalu (Guwahati to Chilarai Nagar), Deepor Beel (Deepor Beel to Guwahati), Burhidihing (Margherita to Tinsukia) and Brahmaputra (Kherghat to Dhubri) in Assam have been identified as polluted.
The CPCB, in association with the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs), is monitoring the water quality of rivers in the country on a regular basis, said Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Anil Madhav Dave, in a Rajya Sabha reply.
No proposals for abatement of pollution in the Burhidihing and the Brahmaputra in Assam have been received by the Ministry for consideration under NRCP. However, proposals for pollution abatement of river Bharalu in Guwahati and the Kolong at Nagaon, which are tributaries of the Brahmaputra, were received from the State Government for funding under NRCP in January 2014. Due to some deficiencies, the proposals have been referred to the State Government.
The State Government is responsible for setting up proper facilities for collection, transportation and treatment of sewage being generated and ensuring that untreated sewage does not fall into the rivers. The Ministry supplements the efforts of the state governments in pollution abatement in various rivers through the Centrally sponsored scheme of the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP), which is implemented on cost-sharing basis between the Central and the state governments.
The CPCB issued directions under Section 18 1(b) of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 in April 2015 to all the State Pollution Control Boards/Pollution Control Committees in the country, including Assam, regarding setting up of sewage treatment plants and utilisation of sewage generated in their respective states. The CPCB also issued directions in October 2015 to 69 municipal authorities of metropolitan cities and state capitals, including Guwahati in Assam, under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 for proper treatment and disposal of sewage generated to control pollution in rivers, Dave said.
(Source: Assam Tribune)