Monsoon rains fail to revive polluted Hindon in Noida
The monsoon has failed to revive the Hindon as pollution levels in the river have worsened in July as compared to June, according to the latest report of the state pollution body. The river continues being rated under category ‘E’, making it unfit for bathing or propagation of aquatic life, the report said.
According to the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board’s (UPPCB’s) report for July, the river does not have presence of dissolved oxygen (DO) against the minimum requirement of 5 milligrams per litre (mg/l), while the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) levels have worsened since June. However, the low presence of coliform levels is the only positive takeaway, the report said.
UPPCB analysis of the samples collected from downstream of Kulesra in Noida, for July 2021, found the BOD levels to be 54 mg/l (18 times higher than the permissible limit) as against 46 mg/l in June. At the same time, DO levels have been consistently zero throughout the year so far in Noida. The last spot where the river had some DO level (2.20 mg/l) was at Karhera village bridge, Ghaziabad, and Mohan Nagar Road Bridge, Ghaziabad (1.90 mg/l). However, soon after that the DO levels go nil as soon as the river reaches Chijarsi at Ghaziabad border and thereafter at Kulesra, Noida after which the river meets the Yamuna.
The faecal coliform levels have reduced to 150,000 most probable number (MPN)/100 ml (against 1.1 million in June), the UPPCB report said. However, the coliform levels for July are still much higher than the max permissible limit of 2,500 MPN/100 ml. The higher level of coliform shows that high volume of sewage is flowing through the river, experts said.
According to the data from the India Meteorological Department, Gautam Budh Nagar received about 100mm rainfall till July.
“For a healthy river to support outdoor bathing, DO must be 5 mg/l. The BOD is the oxygen required to diffuse biological matter, and it must not exceed 3 mg/l,” says Sushmita Sen Gupta, senior programme manager (water pollution), Center for Science and Environment (CSE).
Manoj Mishra, environmentalist and river pollution expert, said, “The rains can revive a river temporarily or do improve the water quality. But we have to understand that it’s the source of pollution that needs to be addressed. Monsoon would pass, but the pollution sources will remain there.”
According to UPPCB officials, it’s the unauthorised and untapped sewer from illegal settlements along the river that pollutes it. “The sewage treatment plants are working properly and we are also keeping tabs on the industrial waste. However, the river receives untreated waste from a number of unauthorised settlements and some drains that fall into it untreated,” said Praveen Kumar, regional officer, UPPCB (Noida region).
Hindon comes from Saharanpur and enters Greater Noida from Chijarsi border after passing through Meerut, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, and Ghaziabad. After covering a length of 50km across Gautam Budh Nagar district, the river disappears in almost equally polluted Yamuna at Momnathal in Tilwara village of Greater Noida.