Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
14-May-2012 15:43 IST
River Pollution by Heavy Metals
The Minister of state (I/C) for Environment and Forests Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan stated in Lok Sabha today that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) along with State Pollution Control Boards is monitoring water quality of rivers at 1085 locations along various river stretches, in terms of physico-chemical and bacterial parameters. Heavy metals are analysed at specific locations to assess the impact of anthropogenic and geogenic activities in aquatic resources. The observed values with respect to certain heavy metals like lead, chromium, arsenic, cadmium and iron are reported to be exceeding the prescribed standards at some of the monitoring locations on the rivers.

In reply to a question the Minister pointed out that for conservation of rivers, this Ministry is implementing the scheme of National River Conservation Plan (NRCP), to supplement the efforts of the State Governments in this regard. The Plan is implemented on a cost sharing ratio of 70:30 between the Centre and States (90:10 for North-eastern States). Presently, NRCP covers 40 rivers in 190 towns (spread over 20 states) along polluted stretches, as identified by CPCB.

Smt. Natarajan further stated that for control of industrial pollution, a major contributor of heavy metals, the steps taken inter-alia include legal action for non-complying units under the provisions of the Water Act, 1974 and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, promotion of Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) for cluster of small scale industries, Environmental Auditing etc.