10 stations for real-time data on Ganga, Yamuna pollution

Authorities said the stations will start functioning before the Kumbh Mela in January. The World Bank will fund the project for the first two years

Ganga and Yamuna will be monitored by 10 proposed stations to identify the precise level of pollution in the two rivers.

These stations would provide "real-time" information, which would be far better than the "indicative" data available now to gauge the amount of pollutants in the two important rivers of the country, senior scientists from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said.

The authorities said the stations — part of a World Bank-funded project — would start functioning before the Kumbh Mela in January.

"At present, we were collecting monthly samples from the rivers and analysing pollution data on the basis of that. Several factors such as variations in oxygen concentration between morning and night were not monitored," Dr R M Bhardwaj, scientist and water quality expert at CPCB, said.

He said the need for real-time monitoring because pollution in both rivers remained a problem, despite efforts and funds from several state governments.

The monitoring stations run primarily on solar power. From December, they will analyse the two rivers' pH level, nitrate, chloride and ammonia concentrations, biochemical oxygen density, chemical oxygen density levels and other data.

"In our country, sewage and small-scale industries waste disposal systems are huge problems. The burgeoning population adds to the crisis. Our needs are different from other countries," a senior CPCB scientist said.

Scientists said eight stations would be set up along the Ganga from Haridwar to Kolkata and two in Wazirabad and Okhla to monitor the Yamuna. The data will be stored at the CPCB headquarters for analysis.

The World Bank will fund the project for two years, after which the government is expected to take over.

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