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Study sounds SOS on river pollution


Times of India, New Delhi, 26 Mar, 2015

Vishwa Mohan


NEW DELHI: At a time when the country's national river Ganga has caught the attention of policymakers, a new report of India's key pollution watchdog -Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) -has noted that the number of polluted river stretches in the country increased from 150 to 302 in the past over five years, indicating how other rivers too are victims of constant neglect. 

A total of 532 townscities fall along the polluted stretches of different rivers across the country. In comparison, the Ganga river basin states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal have 118 such stretches. 



While Prime Minister Narendra Modi will review the Centre's action plan to rejuvenate the river Ganga in a high-level meeting on Thursday, he and his Cabinet colleagues including water resources minister Uma Bharti can hardly afford to ignore the crisis facing other rivers. It is expected that Modi, ex-officio chairman of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), would try to deliver a message across the nation about other rivers as well. Although the meeting on Thursday is meant to review the `Namami Gange' schemes of the government, the Centre is keen to replicate the best practices of Ganga rejuvenation plan to clean up other rivers of the country in due course. 



Chief ministers of Uttarakhand,UP ,Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal are expected to attend the meeting in their capacities as members of the NGRBA that has been monitoring planning and execution of all schemes relating to Ganga rejuvenation.