Water- one of the most important thing for the survival of Human Being after Air. This most important element on the earth without which life cannot be imagined, is getting polluted day by day despite of so many rules and regulations made by the government and steps taken by the NGO’s and Pollution Control Board. We still are not able to make the rivers neat and clean. Rules are being made, plants are being established, but still, the cleanliness level of the rivers remains the same. Except in some states, the level of water pollution remains the same. The most polluting source of water pollution in the river is the city sewage and industrial discharge. Still, there is no treatment of water running in the sewage. And people are left with no option, but to stay in the places nearby. People are still throwing garbage where sewer is running, even, plastic cups, polythene etc can also be seen floating in the sewer. And, no cleanliness of sewer is done. The pesticides used for the farming purposes, are also causing a threat to the rivers attached to it. The soil is losing its fertility. The power of absorption of the soil is losing day by day.
According to a website, the highest percentage of waste i.e. 42% is collected from the household, which can actually be treated in a very good manner is wasted. Many steps have been taken in this regard, not only by the Governments, but even by Supreme Court and some NGO’s too. In the Famous Case of M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, 1985, the “Ganga Pollution Case”, M.C. Mehta, a well- known Supreme Court lawyer, filed a Writ Petition in the Supreme Court charging that, despite of provisions made in the Legal Code, government authorities had not taken effective steps to prevent environmental pollution. He had issued a writ of Mandamus to restrain leather tanneries and the municipal corporation of Kanpur from disposing industrial and domestic effluents in river Ganga. It was the most significant water pollution litigation in the History of Environmental Law. The Court in its order asked the Kanpur Nagar Mahapalika to take action under Uttar Pradesh Nagar Mahapalika Adhiniyam, 1959 to either shift the dairies outside the city, so that the waste of dairies do not ultimately reach the river. According to a website, Sewage Waste Mismanagement alone accounts for 80% of water Pollution in Ganga River. Tons of plastic, polythene and other trash are still in some areas, thrown into Ganga River, despite of claimed Strict enforcement of laws. It is really sad, but true, that Humans have used the natural resources recklessly for their own benefit, without thinking about the future. It is because of his bad behaviour with the nature, that nature is giving him back in the way of Increase in level of Global Warming, depletion of Ozone layer causing various skin deceases. In the name of Development, massive deforestation has happened along the entire stretch of Ganga and her tributaries. Polythenes floating in the river have choked the sewage systems of the rivers, not only river Ganga, but also river Yamuna and River Gomti.
Despite of the decisions of Honbl’e Supreme Court strict rules, made by the Government, water pollution still exists. Nobody is unaware of the harmful effects of contaminated water on their health. Still we are not awake. Still the industries dealing with leather, sugar, paper, textile and steel and chemicals, are mixing the untreated waste in the river itself making it more polluted and unfit even for bathing purposes. People going out in the open, especially, the population residing near the rivers, they are seen going out near the rivers, and that is one of the main cause of increase in the level of water Pollution. Accidental Oil Leakage is also one of the causes of Water Pollution. For e.g.: a ship carrying large quantity of oil may spill oil if met with an accident and can cause varying damage to species in the ocean depending on the quantity of oil spill, size of ocean, toxicity of pollutant. Urban development is also responsible for increase in level of water Pollution . Animal Waste generally is seen directly going into the river. Even today, we can see half- burned bodies being thrown in the rivers.
“Namami Gange Yojna”- one of the best programmes launched by our Prime Minister for the Rejuvenation of river Ganga. It has a budget outlay of Rs. 20,000/- crore. There is no doubt on the fact that Modi Government, after coming into power has done its best and still doing its best to make sure that river Ganga is Pollution free, and it has also been successful to a certain extent. But still, in places like Kanpur, condition has not changed much. Now, the biggest Question Mark is- “What more needs to be done for this situation”? #1. Public Education- Public needs to be self aware of the consequences it is leading because of the pollution they are causing to the Natural Resources like water. The one who are still not aware, needs to be shown the harsh reality. #2. Proper Working of STP’s- STP (Sewage Treatment Plant) exist in almost every city. This devil can be coped up if they work in a proper manner. It is seen that, if a sudden inspection is done, hardly anyone of them will be found working. Mere setting up STP’s is not a solution unless and until they work in a proper manner. They need to work in a proper manner if we want the things to change. #3. Proper dispose of Degradable and non- biodegradable wastes- They should be properly treated and disposed, instead of throwing them directly into the rivers. Many techniques have been developed by BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre) for their treatment. Non- biodegradable waste should be recycled and if possible reused in a proper manner. #4. Proper implementation of rules and regulations- There should be a strict implementation of laws. For ex- a year ago, there was a ban on the use of Polythene. Apart from a couple of weeks, we could see poly bags returning back and were being used by the public. #5. Heavy fine on those found breaking the Rules- Polluter Pays Principle should be adopted on the people who are seen causing harm to the environment. There should be a proper check on their working, and if found guilty, strict penalty should be imposed.
By adopting these techniques, we would be able to rejuvenate the polluted water and save the natural resource for the future because as said correctly by someone,- “the earth is for our need, but not for our greed”.
Some of the best books on water pollution :