Home / Politics / Policy /  Centre to use sensors to monitor effluents flowing into Ganga

New Delhi: The government will monitor industrial waste flowing into Ganga river by installing real-time monitoring sensors at factories, Prakash Javadekar, minister for environment and forests, said on Thursday.

“The environment ministry is devising a formula to install 24x7 sensors so that effluent with more than the permissible limit (of pollutants) can’t go into the Ganga," he said.

Nearly 700 industrial units will be monitored to ensure that they do not discharge untreated industrial effluents into the river, the minister said. The central pollution control board will be responsible for the monitoring.

The 2,500-km Ganga, which winds through 29 major cities, 23 small cities and 48 towns, is one of the most polluted rivers in the country. Just one state along the Ganga’s course, Uttar Pradesh, is home to as many as 817 “grossly polluting" industrial units, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Javadekar spoke after meeting minister for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation Uma Bharati on Thursday. The two decided to ensure minimum environmental flow of the Ganga, check industrial pollution of the river and ensure the protection of its biodiversity and habitat in its upper reaches.

“It was also decided that both the ministries will strictly follow the ban on various activities on the 130km stretch on river Ganga from Gomukh to Uttarkashi," the centre said in a statement.

Both ministries will meet with representatives of various industrial units located on the banks of the Ganga to discuss how to prevent the flow of industrial waste into the river. “Online monitoring of treatment of industrial waste by the industry will begin within six months," the statement said. “Industry will be encouraged to re-use the treated water."

The objective must be to ensure that no effluent enters the river, said Manoj Misra, convener of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, a Delhi-based organization working to revive the Yamuna river. “No effluent, treated or untreated, should be allowed to enter the river," Misra said. “Commitments are still not direct and clear enough to ensure that not a drop of effluent shall enter the river."

The centre will also issue revised rules on sand mining to ensure scientific and sustainable extraction, statement said.

“To protect biodiversity, both the ministers were of the opinion that people displaced due to various projects of the government will be involved in tree plantation drive along the river Ganga," the statement said. “This will give them an opportunity to earn some livelihood."

Finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced an integrated Ganga conservation mission, called Namami Gange, with an outlay of 2,037 crore for the year ending 31 March in his budget speech.

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