Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Jamshedpur: Industrial wastes adding to pollution level in River Subarnarekha


State Pollution Control Board conducts survey 

Jamshedpur, Feb 7: The findings of a recent survey by the Adityapur-based regional office of Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) has revealed that Subarnarekha, the lifeline river of the state, is getting polluted in areas in and around Jamshedpur. The board has expressed concern over rising industrial effluents being dumped.The findings suggested a rise in pH value, dissolved oxygen content and lead content.

Subarnarekha is one of the principal rivers of Jamshedpur. Subarnarekha is the smallest of the inter-state river basins of India. The river covers a drainage area of 1.93 million hectares. Raru, Kharkai, Sankh, Garra, Kanchi and Karkari are some of the tributaries of Subarnarekha which drain the region of Jamshedpur.

Subarnarekha is a rain-fed river that originates about 15 kilometers from the southern part of Ranchi. Before entering the Bay of Bengal, Subarnarekha flows through the states of Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha. The total length of Subarnarekha is estimated to be about 450 kilometers.

The officials informed that a team collected water samples from the river near Domuhani and Mango (Jamshedpur) and Moubhandar (Ghatshila) to rate it on pollution parameters.

After the study it was found that the pH value of water was on the higher side in Mango and Moubhandar. While the pH of natural water ranges between 4 and 9, these two places showed values between 8.5 and 9.6. Only in Domuhani pH value within a limit.

Dissolved oxygen (DO), was low near Domuhani, Mango and Bhuiyandih. Against a desirable limit of 5mg/litre, DO in these places was from 3.25mg/ litre to 4.05mg/ litre.

Moreover, lead content was high in the water at two points Moubhandar and Galudih. The prescribed limit of lead in river water is 0.05mg/ litre. But, samples collected from these two points had anything between 0.61mg/ litre and 2.85mg/litre.

A social worker said that apart from large scale flow of industrial and domestic waste in the river, encroachment of the bank area was also a matter of grave concern. Many illegal structures had been erected on the banks of the river. “We decided to launch the campaign to save this historic river from an untimely death. We would soon write to the commissioner of Kolhan division to provide a map of the river area showing the demarcation of its banks. If he fails to do so within a stipulated time frame, we would approach the Jharkhand high court for a proper remedy,’ he said adding that he would also take the active support of local MLA and environment activist Saryu Rai in this regard who was also doing commendable job to save the river.

He said, ‘Rivers are like the economic, social and cultural spine of the country. We must keep them alive by foiling the attempts of large scale encroachment and the flow of pollutants into them.’

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