Can clean Mithi river, improve water quality in 2 years: Maharashtra govt | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Can clean Mithi river, improve water quality in 2 years: Maharashtra govt

Study reveals that Mithi and Patalganga on list of 38 most polluted rivers in the country, state says it can clean up Mithi river in two years

mumbai Updated: Mar 16, 2018 10:07 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Chemical oxygen demand (COD) – a parameter to assess chemical contamination – at Mithi and Patalganga are well above the 250mg per litre accepted standards.
Chemical oxygen demand (COD) – a parameter to assess chemical contamination – at Mithi and Patalganga are well above the 250mg per litre accepted standards.(HT FILE)

After a Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) study revealed that Mithi and Patalganga were on the list of 38 most polluted rivers in the country, the state said it can clean up Mithi river in two years.

“As directed by the Supreme Court (SC), I had convened a committee of experts from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), which submitted a report – Mithi River Revival Plan – on Tuesday,” said Satish Gavai, additional chief secretary, state environment department and head of the SC monitoring committee for Mithi.

He added, “The report has short-term plans that are expected to be executed immediately, based on SC’s approval, and will help improve the water quality. There are mid-term and long-term plans as well, which are expected to be completed over the next seven and 15 years respectively — to ensure zero water pollution at Mithi.”

Gavai added he will submit the revival plan to the SC on March 19, when the matter is heard next. “I would not like to comment about Patalganga before taking stock of the river’s condition from the state pollution control board,” he said.

The CPCB’s report that recorded chemical oxygen demand (COD) – a parameter to assess chemical contamination – says COD levels at Mithi and Patalganga are well above the 250mg per litre accepted standards. The COD levels after sewage treatment must be around 100mg per litre. The report comes less than a month after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and his wife Amruta featured in a video rallying support to save four Mumbai rivers — Poisar, Dahisar, Oshiwara and Mithi.

HT had reported in October 2017 that Maharashtra has 49 of 315 polluted river stretches, the highest in India. This came to fore after the CPCB submitted a report to the Union environment ministry. Another report by environment ministry from 2017 states that at least 3,000 million litres of untreated sewage and industrial effluents are discharged into the state’s water bodies every day.

Officials from the MPCB said they were aware about the CPCB report and preparations for executing the state’s action plan were underway.

“For Mithi, the SC monitoring committee headed by the chief secretary and various government bodies and research agencies, and we are assessing the final action plan where 40 polluted stretches of Mithi have been identified. Pollution sources such as untreated sewage, plastic pollution, industrial effluents, encroachments and residue from desilting activities are responsible for the chemical contamination of the two rivers,” said P Anbalagan, member secretary, MPCB. “The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has assured us that they will be installing one sewage treatment plant, work for which is expected to start from May.”