‘List pollutants that flow into Shahdara drain’: Yamuna Monitoring Committee tells UP govt
The Yamuna Monitoring Committee has directed the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) to submit a report on untreated or partially treated sewage and industrial effluents being discharged into east Delhi’s Shahdara drain — a stinking outlet that meets the river and adds to its pollution load.
The committee in a review meeting with the state government on October 1 pointed out that two outlets from neighbouring Ghaziabad in UP — the Sahibabad and Indirapuri drains, which meet the Shahdara drain — carry a huge quantity of chemicals that cannot be treated by conventional methods.
It said the agencies concerned must be directed to prevent industrial effluents from entering the drains and mixing with sewage.
Besides these two, the Loni drain also discharges sewage into the Shahdara drain.
Loni and Sahibabad are industrial townships in Ghaziabad bordering east Delhi, where the Shahdara drain flows and ultimately meets the Yamuna.
The committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), for revival of the Yamuna, comprises former state chief secretary Shailaja Chandra and former NGT expert member BS Sajwan.
“The COD (chemical oxygen demand) and BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) levels in the two drains way exceed the permissible limits. COD varies from 1,400 to 1,600 ppm (parts per million) while the permissible standard is 250 mg/l whereas BOD levels are in excess of 740 mg/l, as against the permissible limits of 30 mg/l,” stated the minutes of the review meeting.
COD refers to the total amount of organic and inorganic chemicals in waste water. BOD is the amount of oxygen used by microorganisms in the oxidation of organic matter.
“Since the gradual opening of industries, discharge from untreated industrial effluents in drains has again started, which has been contributing to pollution in the Shahdara drain, the most polluted among the 22 in Delhi that meet the Yamuna. It is causing massive pollution in the river. In many cases, the drains do not have sewage treatment plants (STPs) while in other places the plants are underutilised. A major chunk of pollution in the Shahdara drain comes from UP, which needs to be curbed,” said a member of the YMC.
The committee has asked the UP government to provide the current status of the functioning of STPs in Indirapuri, Sahibabad, Ghaziabad and Noida, their capacity utilisation and whether they are meeting treatment standards.
It wanted timelines for new STPs and other short and long-term measures to be taken for reducing pollution.
A report submitted by the Central Pollution Control Board to the NGT in December 2019 said Sahibabad and Loni townships in Ghaziabad generate 575 MLD (million litres per day) of discharge for which there are only seven STPs with a total treatment capacity of 427 MLD in Ghaziabad.
According to UPPCB officials, work is under way to improve the condition of STPs and set up new plants.
“Work on a conveyance channel that will be able to carry and tap more sewage in the Sahibabad drain is already under way and will be completed by November. It was delayed because of restrictions in place due to Covid-19,” said Utsav Sharma, regional officer of the UPPCB (Ghaziabad).
Manoj Misra, convenor, Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, said major part of the industrial pollutants in the Shahdara drain is from UP.
“There are a number of industries in Ghaziabad which discharge their effluents directly or partially treated into the drains in absence of adequate treatment plants. The Shahdara drain meets the Yamuna downstream of Okhla barrage, half of which falls in Delhi, while the another half in UP,” Misra said.