Activists demand STP at Hindon, students float plan to clean the riverUpdated: Jan 19, 2020 23:51 IST
Even as its water-quality has been deemed unfit for drinking, effluents continue to be dumped in river Hindon prompting environmentalists to demand more sewage treatment plants at major drains that flow into the river. A group of Delhi University (DU) students have also proposed a model to clean the river which has been stripped of its aquatic life.
Earlier this week, a Noida-based environment group, Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE), along with students from DU’s Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce had inspected the river along its 50-km stretch that passes through the district and found that a number of untreated drains continue to discharge effluents in the river. The river Hindon is one of the most polluted rivers in the state.
“So far, a number of drains flow into the river and there is no improvement in controlling effluent discharge especially at a major drain near Kisan Chowk. We have filed numerous complaints in this regard, however, only a few builders have been fined for discharging untreated waste into the river. We have been demanding an STP on this stretch for a long time. When our team visited the stretch, we decided to clean it ourselves. Not only here, but we also continue to demand the authority to install an STP at major drains,” Vikrant Tongad, founding member of SAFE, said.
Meanwhile, the DU students who had accompanied Tongad and his team from SAFE, have floated a social entrepreneurship plan to clean the river that also involves slum dwellers and residents of unauthorised colonies of Greater Noida.
The students said they have been working on developing a ‘product’ and a ‘business model’ to manage the river’s health and manage the waste and plastic dumped in it. They added they will begin testing Hindon in a few days with help of SAFE.
“We have been inspecting the river and identified three major unaddressed issues with the river; sewage being discharged into the river, especially near Kisan Chowk; waste and plastic dumped being dumped in and around the river; numerous stretches with floating plastic,” Mudit Kandpal, a second-year economics student. “We had also observed that near Surajpur wetland, a tributary of the river meets a canal and carries waste and effluent into the wetland. Our project aims at cleaning the river and involving local slum dwellers as well, and collecting plastic waste so that it can be recycled,” Kandal, who is leading the 60-student team, said.
He added the students are also in talks with industrial units to consume the waste. He said details of the product that will be used to clean the river and the business plan will be shared once the project is implemented.
Hindon originates from Saharanpur and reaches Gautam Budh Nagar (Greater Noida) after passing through Meerut and Ghaziabad. It merges with river Yamuna at Momnathal in Tilwada village of Greater Noida. Throughout its 50-km length in the district, the river is fed untreated effluent and non-degradable waste from industries and illegal colonies.
According to the state pollution board reports, the level of dissolved oxygen (DO)in Hindon at its entry point in Chhajarsi was at 0 throughout the year 2019, against a minimum requirement of 5 mg/liters.
The authorities, however, deny that the effluents are being discharged into the river through drains.
Even as they denied any discharge of effluents in the river, officials at Greater Noida authority said plans to clean the river are in the pipeline.
“Proposed by the ministry of jal shakti, there are plans to clean the river and they will affect the entire stretch of the river. So far, no effluent is being discharged into the river. We have five STPs in Greater Noida and all high-rises are supposed to treat their effluents themselves. Sometimes, some of them switch off their effluent treatment plants to save money. However, we along with the pollution control board regularly conduct inspection s and fine the polluters,” Narendra Bhooshan, chief executive officer, Greater Noida authority, said.