Water, Water Everywhere, But Only Drops That Stink: Polluted River Stretches Up From 302 To 351 In Two Years

Water, Water Everywhere, But Only Drops That Stink: Polluted River Stretches Up From 302 To 351 In Two YearsThe polluted Yamuna River in Delhi. (Sushil Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The number of critically polluted river-stretches in India has gone up from 302 to 351 in the past two years, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), The Hindu has reported. The number of critically polluted areas in India has gone up from 34 to 45. The states were apprised of the extent of pollution in rivers based on a direction from the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The CPCB report is yet to be put out in the public domain.

Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) is the metric used by CPCB for measuring the extent of pollution. Higher the BOD, higher is the pollution. Rivers with a BOD of 30 mg/l or above are classified as priority 1 from the pollution perspective, while those with a BOD of 3.1 to 6 mg/l are classified as priority 5.

The Mithi River flowing from Powai to Dharavi with a Biological Oxygen Demand of 250 mg/l is among the worst polluted stretches. Godavari river from Someshwar to Rahed has a BOD of 5.0-80 mg/l. The Ganga, with a BOD of 3.5-8.8 mg/l, is indicated as a ‘priority 4’ river. Though the focus of the Centre’s schemes for river clean-up are focused on Ganga, other rivers are found to be more polluted, by the CPCB.

“The cultural significance of the Ganga is such that there’s been greater focus on it, but many more rivers are far more polluted,” a water resources ministry official told The Hindu.