19 rivers in Odisha contaminated: Union Minister

Bhubaneswar: Despite campaigns and awareness on water pollution, as many as 19 rivers and nullahs were found to be polluted in Odisha.

This was revealed by Ministry of Jal Shakti in a written reply to BJP MP from Odisha Jual Oram in Lok Sabha today.

As per latest report of Central Pollution Control Board (CRCB), 19 rivers have been identified as polluted in Odisha based on the value of Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), said Rattan Lal Kataria, the Jal Shakti & Social Justice And Empowerment Minister (MoS) in the Lower House.

The rivers and nullahs included Gangua River, Guradih nullah, Kathajodi River, Nandira Jhor River, Daya River, Kuakhai River, Banguru nullah, Bheden River, Brahmani River, Budhabalanga River, Kusumi River, Mahanadi River, Mangala River, Nagavalli River, Luna River, Ratnachira River, Rushikulya River, Sabulia River and Serua River.

The stretch from Rourkela to Biritol of Brahmani River is one of the identified polluted river stretches of priority V (BoD level in the range of 3-6 mg/l), informed the minister in Lok Sabha.

Answering to Jual Oram, who represents Sundargarh Lok Sabha Constituency, he said that Centre is supplementing the efforts of the state governments including Odisha, in abatement of pollution of identified stretches of various rivers under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National River Conservation Plan (NRCP), on cost sharing basis between the Central and state governments.

The Ministry has sanctioned projects at a cost of Rs.279.9 lakh for pollution abatement of Brahmani River in Odisha. Under the project works pertaining to interception and diversion of sewage, sewage treatment plant (STP), river front development etc have been implemented and a STP having capacity of 2 million litre per day (mld) has been created in the state, Kataria said.

Worth mentioning, Odisha government has also admitted that water at different stretches in 19 rivers is contaminated.

In a written reply in state Assembly, Forest & Environment Bikram Keshari had informed that 19 natural watercourses that pass along urban areas in the state have been identified as polluted.

Even though, the sewage treatment plant for each urban locality along the rivers is not mandatory, the state government is setting up such facilities at Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Talcher and Rourkela through Odisha Water Supply and Sewerage Board (OWSSB), he had told the House.

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