PMO issues directives to reduce pollution load on Yamuna

Delhi government asked to ensure sewage and effluent treatment plants meet effluent quality norms

By Soma Basu
Published: Saturday 12 January 2013

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has been monitoring the availability of water from Tehri dam in the Ganga at Allahabad during the Kumbh Mela, has issued directives to control the pollution load in the Yamuna river during the festival period.

The Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDCL) has agreed to release 250 cubic metre per second (cumecs) water from December 21, last year to February 20, and 220 cumecs water from February 21 to February 28 in view of the demand for Allahabad Kumbh snans (bathing).

Instructions have also been given by the Prime Minister’s Office that Delhi Jal Board should ensure that the performance of the 72 million gallons a day capacity sewage treatment plant (STP) at Keshavpur, renovated/commissioned recently, is stabilized so that it functions optimally and the effluent meets the norms. The Delhi government has been asked to ensure that the performance of STPs and common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) is optimized to meet effluent quality norms.

At Sangam, Allahabad, the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) of the Yamuna and Ganga is generally less than 6 mg/ltr, but the main issue is of the colour of effluents discharged by the pulp and paper industries into the Ram Ganga and the Kali rivers (both tributaries of the Ganga). Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand state pollution control boards (SPCBs) have been directed to ensure that all the paper units discharging their effluents into the Ganga or its tributaries comply with the prescribed norms.

Monitoring of water quality in the Ram Ganga and the Kali and their tributaries is being carried out on a daily basis by the SPCBs of Uttrakhand and Uttar Pradesh in coordination with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Action will be taken against industries found violating the norms. CPCB has issued show cause notices for closure to 23 tannery units in Unnao and Banther and based on the response received/action taken further course of action will be decided, a release from PMO said.

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