Keeping 24x7 tab on Ganga’s pollution level a reality now

By the end of this year, pollution level in Ganga will be checked on a real-time basis by advanced water quality monitoring stations, which will be set up in three cities of Uttar Pradesh through which the river flows.

Under a World Bank-funded project, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is installing the water quality monitoring stations in the three cities — Allahabad, Kanpur and Varanasi — under the supervision of UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB). Two such stations are being set up on Nanamau and Jajmau bridges in Kanpur, one on Shashtri bridge in Allahabad and at two other places in Varanasi.

UPPCB officials said that when these stations will report a cognizable increase in pollution level in the river during Kumbh, with a large number of people taking bath or otherwise using the river, the Irrigation Department will release water into the river to provide comparatively clean water for the holy dip.

UPPCB Chief Environmental Officer Dr Madhu Bhardwaj said these stations will not only provide date on a real-time but also the information of the pollution level in Ganga will be precise. Bhardwaj said that Central government has planned to install such stations on other tributaries of Ganga in future.

"At present, we collect samples in office hours only and take these to labs for testing. Several factors such as variations in oxygen concentration between morning and night were not monitored. Now, the new monitoring stations will give real time and accurate information of pollution level round the clock," said Radheshyam, UPPCB Regional Officer, Kanpur.

Radheshyam said the CPCB has engaged a France-based agency to install the stations that comprises a computerised machine with an internet connection. The set-up will be fixed at a place near the river. A sensor, connected with the station from one end, would remain dipped in the river to detect the level of pH, nitrate, chloride and ammonia concentrations, biochemical oxygen density and chemical oxygen density levels of the water. The entire station will be connected online to authorities of the CPCB, UPPCB and the Irrigation Department.

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