THE Bharalu river in Assam once provided potable water to thousands of people living on its banks. It was also a source of variety of fish and other aquatic flora and fauna for the people. The river is now so badly polluted that scientists have warned that unless measures are initiated on a war-footing, an unprecedented disaster is imminent. This was stated after a study ,conducted by the zoology department of the Guwahati
University under a project funded by the Asian Science Technology and Environmental Council.
Jatin Kalita, one of the members the group, said the river has be, reduced to a stagnant water body with high toxicity levels due to free carbon dioxide (FCO2). What is most alarming is that the highest FCO2 levels were found near the state zoo, said Kalita. The river also has high levels of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) due to heavy dumping of organic material in its bed. The scientists have urged the government that environment protection act should be strictly enforced.
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