Polluted rivers: MPCB to submit affidavit to CPCB

Neha Basudkar
Friday, 1 March 2019

Water quality of Pune’s rivers is ‘poor’ 

Pune: The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), Pune office will submit an affidavit in March-end to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) informing that the Pavana, Mula, Mutha and Mula-Mutha rivers’ water quality is poor as perdrinking water standards. The CPCB will further submit this affidavit to National Green Tribunal (NGT). The NGT principal bench in 2018 had asked for river water quality in each state based on a report published by CPCB during the same time. 

The NGT had asked for water quality assessment to all city MPCB heads. The MPCB Pune office had already started their assessment from July 2018.
Dilip Khedkar, Regional Officer of MPCB, informed Sakal Times, “We are in the process of making quarterly reports of Pavana, Mula, Mutha and Mula-Mutha. The first and second was done in July and October and the last report is being carried out this month. The analysis of the first and second report states that the river water quality is very poor than the drinking water standard.” 

The drinking water standard must be ISO 10,500, Khedkar said.

He further said, “A combined report of quarterly reports of all these rivers will be made and will be submitted to the CPCB by March end. The CPCB will further submit it to the NGT and accordingly, decisions will be made. Similarly, the 53 stretches are also under assessment.”

The CPCB 2018 report stated that Maharashtra has 53 river stretches and also the highest number of polluted river stretches, in the country. The last report published by CPCB in 2015 recorded 302 polluted stretches on 275 rivers. However, in 2018, the report stated that there are 351 polluted stretches on 323 rivers of the country. The report mentions that domestic sewerage, inadequate sanitation facilities, poor seepage management and the near absence of sanitation and wastewater policy frameworks are responsible factors for the pollution.

According to the CPCB, the quality of discharged treated waste is ‘very poor’ when Biological Oxygen Demand or BOD (a parameter to measure pollution) is over 30 mg/l. Anything exceeding this value has the poorest quality as per the CPCB.

MPCB, Pune office working on the stretches of four rivers Pavana river originates from south of Lonavla from the Western Ghats and flows a total of nearly 60 kilometres to meet the Mula river in Pune. It becomes southbound and passes through the suburbs of Dehu, Chinchwad, Pimpri and Dapodi before its confluence with the Mula river near Sangvi. According to the MPCB, Pune office, around 205 MLD of sewage is daily getting generated in the 20 km stretch of Dapodi to Ravet. Due to no proper drainage system, 4.64 MLD sewage is daily getting discharged into the river directly.

Both Mula and Mutha rivers are dammed in their upstream. Mula river has Mulshi Dam that controls the release of water in the rivers while the Mutha river has three dams - Khadakwasla, Warasgaon and Temghar. The Mula river is 22.2 km. It flows through the limits of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and the Pune Municipal Corporation along the Old Mumbai-Pune highway. The MPCB, Pune office is working on 2.7 km stretch of it from Bopodi to Aundh Gaon. The office does not have any data on how much sewage is being released into the river, but the river water is polluted.

Similarly, Mutha river originates at a village named Vegare, in the Western Ghats, it is about 45 km to the west of Pune. Mutha river has two tributaries, Ambi and Moshi. The MPCB has pointed out 16 km stretch of the river. The stretch generates 108 MLD of sewage every day from which 33 MLD of sewage is daily released into the river

Also, the Mula-Mutha which confluences at Sangam bridge also has polluted water of 10 km stretch from Theur to Mundhwa bridge. There is no data available with the MPCB on sewage generation and release in the river water. 

Khedkar said, “The respective civic bodies or governing bodies have been informed about the polluted water and the reason behind polluted water. They will be taking actions against it by setting up proper infrastructure to treat the water.”

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