Making Bharalu water fit for bathing
GUWAHATI: The Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) has suggested installation of three STPs (Sewerage Treatment Plants) in the Bharalu River – one each at Zoonali, Sarabbati and Bharalumukh – to make its water at least fit for bathing.
Following an order from the NGT (National Green Tribunal) in August 2018, the PCBA constituted a River Rejuvenation Committee (RRC) on December 24, 2018. The RRC conducted a survey, prepared an action plan and submitted it to the State government in December 2019. The government has already approved the action plan, but its implementation is still awaited. The STPs have been mooted as the PCBA found during the survey that the water quality of the river is not at all satisfactory.
According to the PCBA survey conducted to ascertain the impact of the lockdown on the water quality of the river, the level of dissolved oxygen (DO) in the Bharalu is nil during and before the COVID-19 lockdown. Such a situation, according to the PCBA, doesn't support the survival of aquatic animals in the river. According to PCBA sources, the presence of dissolved oxygen should be more than 5 mg per litre. On the contrary, the bio-chemical oxygen demand is 38 mg per litre against the requirement of less than 3 mg per litre during the lockdown. Before the lockdown it was 38.3 mg per litre.
Likewise the presence of total coliform (Most Probable Number per 100 ml) is 15,000 and faecal coliform is 3,400 (Most Probable Number per 100 ml) during the lockdown.
According to sources, installation of STPs is a time-taking exercise. For immediate solution to the problem, bio-remediation can be adopted, besides regular monitoring of solid waste disposal.