This article throws light upon the six major polluted rivers of India. The polluted rivers are: 1. The Damodar River 2. Yamuna River 3. Ganga River 4. Bagmati River 5. Mahi River 6. Chambal and Betwa River.
Polluted River # 1. The Damodar River:
The Damodar River is the most polluted river, carrying discharges from 43 major industries and scores of minor units. In Yamuna (Delhi), 19,000 cubic metres of water containing DDT derivatives from agriculture are dumped daily. 68 industrial units discharge 1000 cu.m. of untreated waste water in Ganga every day.
25% of the total pollution of Ganga is from industrial waste from Calcutta and Kanpur. Industrial and municipal waste discharges have made segments of Ganga unfit for bathing. The Ganga carries industrial and untreated sewage from 114 cities, each having a population of more than 50,000. 75% of the pollution of Ganga is from untreated waste (sewage), 88% of which comes from 25 classes in cities.
Polluted River # 2. Yamuna River:
Yamuna, the river of life is now dying a slow death, because today it is receiving 60% of the untreated domestic sewage, industrial effluents, fly ash and other chemicals in Delhi alone. From entering Delhi at Palla village near Wazirpur to leaving it at Gookhla, Yamuna is constantly fed by drains carrying domestic and industrial waste.
Not only its water is unsafe for drinking, but it has no scope for sustaining any kind of aquatic wildlife. Moreover, the river has also lost free flowing that has self-cleaning properties. The degeneration of the river is becoming a major health hazard for the people resulting in diseases like malaria and tuberculosis etc.
Polluted River # 3. Ganga River:
Varanasi, one of the oldest towns in the world, is responsible for 25% of UP’s contribution of pollutants to the Ganga. The 7 km stretch of the river receives the highest pollution load anywhere along the course of the river. In addition to its population of 15 lakh, tens of thousands of pilgrims visit Yamuna every year.
The Allahabad High Court has ordered closure of all industrial units on the bank of the river Ganga in the state which had not installed effluent treatment plants. The Bench asked the government to constitute a high powered committee to look into the growing pollution in Ganga.
Polluted River # 4. Bagmati River:
Bagmati River near the Pashupatinath temple is highly polluted mainly due to filth. The river, which originates at Shivpuri-Bagdwar, is now the only means of carrying away all the liquid waste that is deposited along its stretches.
Rubbish from picnic spots at Sundrijal, sewerage from dense villages around Gokarna, industrial effluents from the numerous carpet-dyeing factories at Jorpati and Baudha and the sewerage from Chabahil, Jorpati and Boudh flow into the river.
Polluted River # 5. Mahi River:
The Mahi River flowing into the Gulf of Khambhat is on the verge of extinction because of pollution and salinity.
The river is facing an intrusion of saline water from sea as there is no surface flow to push the sea water back during a low tide. Due to this ground water may become saline in many areas. Effluents from industries are also adding to the worse of the river. The effluents are accumulating downstream leading to poisoning of the river water.
Polluted River # 6. Chambal and Betwa River:
Rivers Chambal and Betwa are the important sub-tributaries, which join Yamuna, before it meets Ganga. The Brahmaputra rises in Tibet and enters India in Arunachnal Pradesh and after traversing through Assam and Bangladesh joins Ganga at Goalundo in Bangladesh.
Its important tributaries are Dibang, Luhit, Subansiri, Manas and Tista. The Barak River, the head stream of Meghna, rises in the hills in Manipur at an elevation of about 2900 metres. The important tributaries of the river are Makku, Trang, Truvai, Jiri, Sonai, Rukni, Katakhal, Dhaleswari, Langachini, Madhuva and Jatinga.
The Meghna is the part of Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna system. The combined Ganga- Brahmputra River meets Meghna in Bangladesh and this combined system flows as one river for some distance before falling into the Bay of Bengal.
About 12 villages around the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh have been affected by fluoride contamination in the water. The consumption of contaminated water has resulted in bone deformities among villagers. The fluoride content in the region’s water is 8%, when the permissible limit is only 2%. According to scientists, regular consumption of fluoride contaminated water can affect both nerves and bones.
The textile and dyeing units in Karur, Tamil Nadu are now setting up effluents treatment plants, because all sectors of the industry have been reeling under the closure of almost all its 606 dyeing units due to pollution problems. The closure of the dyeing units has been affected by Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) under direction from the Madras high court.
The effluents from these industries are polluting the groundwater and river water, which is used for irrigation. The groundwater and river water are also being discoloured due to effluents from the dyeing units, as well as, treated effluents of Tamil Nadu news-paper and print limited in nearby Pugalur.
The important rivers systems in Deccan are the Narmada and the Tapi which flow westwards into Arabian Sea and the east flowing rivers the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna, the Cauvery, which fall into Bay of Bengal.
There are numerous coastal rivers which are comparatively small streams. While only handfuls of such rivers drain into the sea near the deltas of east coast there are as many as 600 such rivers on the west coast. The West Coast Rivers are of great importance as they contain as much as 14 percent of the country’s water resources while draining only 3% of the land. A few rivers in Rajasthan do not drain into the sea.
They drain into salt lakes the sambhar or get lost in sands with no outlet to sea.