Abstract: There were many schemes for pollution abatement of River Ganga. Ganga Action Plan (1 and 2) and thereafter NRCD and National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGBRA) launched by Government of India. But these plans focused only on big cities and did not take into account pollution generated in the entire stretch/catchment. In their efforts small cities, semi urban settlements, Industries and pollution from rural sector were not addressed. As a result program had limited success and the improvement in water quality of River Ganga was limited. The impact of human activity or a project on an environmental resource or eco-system may be considered insignificant when assessed in isolation, but may become significant when evaluated. This study aims at studying the assessment of assessment of pollution load on point source discharges in river Ganga catchment from Haridwar to Garhmukteshwar (160 km) based on field visits , satellite data supported with details from Survey of India topographical sheets, census data, district Industry data, water quality and discharge data. In study area seven point sources were identified based on the criteria of either existence of class I or class II city/town in the catchment of drain or falling of industrial effluent in drains.
Keywords: Ganga action plan, pollution load, water quality, river Ganga.
The Himalayas are the source of three major Indian rivers, namely the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra. Ganga basin is the largest river basin in India in terms of catchment area, constituting 26% of the country's land mass (8,61,404 Sq. km) and supporting about 43% of its population or 448.3 million (Census 2001). The basin lies between East longitudes 73° 30’ and 89° 0’ and North latitudes of 22° 30’ to 31° 30’, covering an area of 1,086,000 sq. km, flowing through India, Nepal and Bangladesh. About 79% area of Ganga basin is in India (Status Paper 2009). The basin covers 11 states which are Uttarakhand, U.P., M.P., Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar,Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Delhi. Bhagirathi is the source stream of Ganga. It originates from the Gangotri Glacier at Gaumukh at an elevation of 3,892 m (12,770 feet). Many small streams comprise the headwaters of Ganga. The main tributaries are Alaknanda, Dhauliganga, Pindar, Mandakini and Bhilainagar. At Devprayag, where Alaknanda joins Bhagirathi, the river acquires the name Ganga. It covers a course of 2525 km before flowing into the Bay of Bengal. Ganga, in some stretches, particularly during lean seasons has become unfit even for bathing. The change in the global climate and the effect of glacial melt on Ganga flow, also the impacts of rapid industrialization in the upper reaches of the river, raise concern of pollution (WWF Report, 201 2). Due to lack of sewage treatment plans, most of the untreated domestic sewage from urban and rural areas discharged in to river Ganga via major drains/ rivers. Near about 12,000 MLD waste water, sewage generate in Ganga basin, while treatment capacity in Ganga basin is of only around 4,000 MLD (Rai, B 2013). Class I & II towns situated along the banks, disposed around 3000 MLD waste water into the Ganga, against which treatment capacity is about 1000 MLD (Status Paper 2013). There are noticeably 764 polluting industries discharging wastewater either directly or through drains to the main stems of River Ganga and its tributaries (Kali-east and Ramganga) in Uttarakhand, U P, Bihar and west Bengal. 687 industries are situated in Uttar Pradesh ( CPCB report, July (2013). The water used up by these industries is about 1123 million liter per day and wastewater generation is about 501 MLD (GAP fund utilization report 2013). Waste water generation is about 45% of total water consumed. A number of studies regarding pollution aspects of river Ganga and its tributaries have been carried out by different workers, Kota, S.K., 2012, Prasanta K. 2013 etc.
Major point sources of pollution in study stretch are sewage from urban and rural areas, treated/untreated/partially treated waste water from industrial units. Many rivers and drains joins the river stretch from Haridwar to Garhmukteshwar which are Haridwar drain, Laksar drain, Solani river, Malin river, Pili river, Rawasan river, Kotawali river, Chhoiya River, Baia, Garh drain (also shown in the line diagram in figure 1). In the present study, due to time constraint we are considering only seven point sources which are Haridwar drain, Laksar Drain, Solani River, Garh drain, Malin River, Chhoiya River, and Baia River based on the criteria of either existence of class I or class II city/town in the catchment of drain or falling of industrial effluent in drains.
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Figure: 1 Showing Catchment Areas of Sub Basins (source: own fig.)