206 engineers monitoring 227 drains for a clean Ganga
The project aimed at ensuring clean water for bathing during Kumbh started from December 15 and is scheduled to continue till June this year. SMCG-UP identified over 227 drains along the Ganga, which covers over 800 kilometres as it passes through the state.Updated: Jan 10, 2019 10:22 IST
With an aim to keep the Ganga clean for the devotees during the Kumbh, the state government has deployed 206 engineers to check flow of affluent from as many as 227 major drains into the river.
According to the officials of the State Mission for Clean Ganga Uttar Pradesh (SMCG-UP), officials ranking from junior engineer (JE) to executive engineer have been made nodal officers and tasked with monitoring the status of the drain on a daily basis.
The project aimed at ensuring clean water for bathing during Kumbh started from December 15 and is scheduled to continue till June this year. To begin with, SMCG-UP identified over 227 drains along the Ganga, which covers over 800 kilometres as it passes through the state.
“Monitoring the drains occupies most of our day. We are required to report the condition of the drains, ensure sample collection and updating the results online in real time,” said an executive engineer, who has been appointed the nodal officer of a drain in Kanpur.
The officers are also tasked with logging in the GPS-coordinates of the drain, volume of the sludge that it adds into the Ganga and the kind of technology being used to treat the drain water. The officers are also required to upload a real time picture of the drain daily.
SMCG-UP along with the state pollution control board and other departments has developed a mobile application where this data is uploaded. The application, officials say, ensures accountability.
“The application helps us identify the drains where the pollution levels are not improving easily, so that we can implement additional measures to improve the condition,” said director of SMCG-UP Hari Pratap Shahi.
The data of all drains is complied on a weekly basis and reviewed by the team every fortnight. One such meeting held on last Saturday was chaired by the chief secretary. Indian Institute of Toxicology Research(IITR) is one of the institutes that examine the data.
“The aim is to limit the BOD(Biological Oxygen Demand) of drain water released into the river below 30 mg/l. The dissolved oxygen (DO) must be more than 5 mg/l . We have been able to maintain these parameters for most of the drains,” said Shahi.
SMCG has also roped in private players to make sure the best technology is used in the endeavor. “We are adopting bio-remediation and other technologies to improve the water quality. We are also testing new technologies like bagging and phytoremediation for some selected drains on the stretch,” said Shahi.
First Published: Jan 10, 2019 10:22 IST