Odisha government to take measures to make rivers pollution-free

The Odisha government on Tuesday decided to take various measures for maintaining the health of rivers in the state.

Presiding over a high-level meeting at the State Secretariat here, chief secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik reviewed the present scenario and advised the departments to make integrated efforts for preparation of a definite action plan for major rivers which are considered more vulnerable to pollution.

It was decided at the meeting to constitute one inter-departmental task force involving the departments of water resources, housing and urban development, steel and mines, industry and Odisha State Pollution Control Board.

The body is supposed to look into various aspects of river pollution and prepare a definite work plan with reference to sewerage treatment plant and solid waste management plant.

The Pollution Control Board was advised to strengthen the water quality monitoring exercise in the vulnerable rivers.

At present, the board is having 75 such monitoring systems in the rivers like Mahanadi, Bramhani, Baitarani, Rusikulya, Nagavali, Subarnarekha, Budhabalanga, Vansadhara and Kolab.

Besides, 21 monitoring systems have also been installed in various ponds, canals and lakes. Preliminary water analysis shows that discharge of untreated and partially treated domestic wastewater to the river course is a major source of pollution at present.

Patnaik directed the Housing and urban development department to expedite the process of construction of sewerage treatment plants and solid waste management plants in major cities and towns.

The detailed project report for sewerage treatment for Cuttack, Berhampur, Bhubaneswar and Rourkela has been prepared and put to tender.

The housing and urban development secretary was asked to have similar projects for Sambalpur and Paradip towns.

Patnaik suggested a detailed study for improving the water regime and maintaining ecological flow of water in rivers like Mahanadi, Bramhani and Baitarani through construction of water reservoirs at ideal sites, renovation of existing barrages and construction of new barrages.

Among others, principal secretary water resources SC Mohapatra, housing and urban development secretary Sourav Garg, steel and mines secretary Manoj Ahuja, and OSPCB member Sidharth Dash participated in the deliberations.

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