Rising pollutants turn Pune’s Mutha into a ‘dead’ river | pune news | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Feb 12, 2018-Monday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Rising pollutants turn Pune’s Mutha into a ‘dead’ river

According to data released by Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) environment department, constantly rising pollution levels since 2012 have now transformed Mutha into a ‘dead’ river.

pune Updated: Jan 18, 2018 14:56 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Data released by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) environment department has recorded a consistent rise in levels of chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and dissolved  oxygen (DO) of Mutha river since 2012.
Data released by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) environment department has recorded a consistent rise in levels of chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and dissolved oxygen (DO) of Mutha river since 2012.(Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)

Pollution in river Mutha has been consistently rising and has reached alarming levels turning the river into a dead river body at many stretches.

Data released by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) environment department has recorded a consistent rise in levels of chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and dissolved oxygen (DO) of Mutha river since 2012.

According to experts, BOD and COD are the main parameters analysed to indicate the degree of pollution in the river. While BOD is the measurement of the amount of oxygen required biologically to decompose organic matter under aerobic condition, COD is the measurement of total oxygen required to oxidize all biologically available and inert organic matter into carbon dioxide and water.

While low BOD is an indicator of good quality water, high BOD indicates polluted water.

According to scholars, while a water supply with a BOD level of 3-5 parts per million (ppm) is considered moderately clean, water with a BOD level of 6-9 ppm is considered “somewhat polluted”. High dissolved oxygen (DO) is also harmful to aquatic life. Experts say that “fish in waters containing excessive dissolved gases may suffer from ‘gas bubble disease’”.

The water quality was monitored and analyzed by PMC at five different locations in city. Data reveals that BOD level of water at Vitthalwadi increased from 18 mg/l in 2012 to 52.85 mg/l in 2017 even as minimum acceptable level of BOD stood at 30 mg/l.

Similarly, COD levels rose from 67 mg/l to 168.60 mg/l in 2017, with the minimum acceptable limit being 150 mg/l. The DO level rose from 2.6 mg/l in 2012 to 3.19 mg/l in 2017.

The data was based on the monitoring and analysis of water quality at Erandwane, Mhatre bridge, Joshi bridge and Railway bridge.

Speaking to this newspaper, Mangesh Dighe, environment officer of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), said that the rising population of the city was causing this high pollution. Presently, 75% of raw sewage was being treated. The river pollution would be curtailed to a large extent once the ₹1,000-crore Mula Mutha River Development project is completed, he said.

Sunil Joshi, a conservationist working in the area of river rejuvenation, said that the BOD and COD levels of the river water were rising because the Mutha river is not flowing. “The civic body has constructed many cement river banks,which have disturbed the natural flow of river. Simultaneously, we are responsible for mixing non-treated sewage water into the river basin. Also, many industrial units are diverting their pollutants to water bodies, which increases river pollution,” he said.

According to Shailaja Deshpande, director of Jeevitnadi-Living River Foundation, “The Mutha is almost a dead river because it is not flowing. Her flow is dependent upon the will of the irrigation department.” The citizens are also responsible for the high pollution through the use of many detergents and cleaning products, she said. Deshpande noted that these chemical detergents were harmful for a marine biodiversity even as the PMC had failed to treat 100% sewage water.

SUGGESTED BOX

Area                           Year                         BOD                                   COD                                    DO

                                                                     ( mg/l)                             ( mg/l)                                 ( mg/l)            

Vitthalwadi             2012                        18                                        67                                        2.6

                                     2013                        24                                        75                                        2.7

                                     2014                        25                                       90                                        2.8

                                     2015                        28                                      105                                       2.7

                                     2016                        38                                      130                                       2.7

                                     2017                       52.85                                  168.60                                3.19

Erandwane            2012                          20                                         67                                    1.2

                                   2013                           32                                        120                                   2.1

                                    2014                          27                                         80                                     2.3

                                    2015                          39                                        100                                    1.6

                                    2016                          43                                        150                                    2.1

                                    2017                          47.10                                  142.77                              3.0

Mhatre Bridge        2012                        19                                           65                                    1.8

                                     2013                         28                                          105                                  2.6

                                     2014                         26                                           90                                    2.9

                                     2015                         34                                           95                                     2.3

                                     2016                         50                                          170                                    2.3

                                     2017                        47.73                                     159.97                             3.25

Joshi Bridge           2012                           22                                            75                                    0.9

                                     2013                           16                                           55                                     1.9

                                     2014                          21                                            70                                      2.1

                                     2015                          40                                             80                                     1.5

                                    2016                           49                                             140                                  2.7

                                    2017                            35.80                                      121.5                               3.31

Railway Bridge    2012                             18                                              65                                    1.3

                                   2013                            42                                              135                                   2.5

                                   2014                            48                                              136                                    2.4

                                   2015                             42                                              135                                   1.5

                                   2016                             49                                              170                                   2.6

                                   2017                             47.95                                         146                                  3.52                                                                         

                                                                            

Tolarable limit of BOD-  30mg/l

Tolarable limit of COD- 150mg/l

Tolarable limit of DO - 2 mg/l