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How polluted are Indian rivers?

testing sites are unsafe for drinking and have high levels of heavy metal exceeding limits set by Burro of Indian Standards.

Findings of CMC report –

  • 287/442 sample – polluted by heavy metals.

Major contaminants –

  • Iron (most common), lead, Nickle, Chromium, Cadmium and Copper.
  • Sources, reasons and factors leading to River pollution.

Sources –

  • Mining,
  • Milling,
  • Plating and Surface Finishing,
  • Industries,
  • Fertilizers,
  • Contaminated groundwater.

          Main reasons –

  • Population growth,
  • Rise in agriculture and industrial activities.

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Factors leading to river pollution –

  • Sewage water,
  • Industrial waste,
  • Agriculture waste / Fertilizers,
  • Low priority to river health,
  • Low waste treatment plants,
  • Thermal and Radial pollution,
  • Rapid urbanization.

Impact –

  • Long term exposure can lead to various diseases,
  • Impact on flora and fountain,
  • Loss of livelihood,
  • Low Agriculture productivity,
  • Loss of revenue due to contaminated fishing or toxicity.
  • Steps to protect and prevent River pollution –
  • Expand the supply and number of treatment plants,
  • Use of best technologies for the recovery of wastewater for reuse,
  • Zero-waste lifestyle adaption – 4R2C – Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, recycle, compost, close to the loop.
  • River adaption – as a part of corporate sustainability, responsibility

Way forward –

Water is our basic need and without a river, we cannot sustain life, so we need to make a collaborative effort to stop/reduce degradation and the slow death of our rivers.

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