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MoEF&CC declares JK’s eight water bodies as polluted

Kashmiri men in boats manually collect weeds from the polluted waters of Dal Lake, covered by aquatic plants in Srinagar September 8, 2012. REUTERS/Fayaz Kabli/Files

Srinagar, Feb 3: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), has declared at least eight water bodies of Jammu and Kashmir as polluted.

Among the polluted water bodies include Kashmir’s Chunt Kol, Sindh and Jhelum. Jammu’s Banganga, Tawi, Devika, Basantar and Chenab.


They have been declared polluted on the basis of Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) levels, a key indicator of organic pollution.

Every year, Central Government releases funds under its National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) every fiscal to combat pollution of water in rivers and lakes.

This fiscal, Government of India (GoI) under NRCP released Rs 30 crore to Jammu and Kashmir for establishment of STP’s in order to bring down the level of pollution in these eight rivers of the state.

But the state government has failed to make any addition to its existing number of Sewerage Treatment Plants (STPS) due to which millions of liters of liquid waste gets discharged into water bodies.

As per the documents, J&K’s urban areas, which produces 547 Million Liters Per Day (MLD) liquid waste has only 19 STP’s installed due to nearly 50 per cent (264.74 mld)of the untreated sewerage gets discharged into rivers and canals.
On the other hand, J&K’s neighbouring state Himachal Pradesh, which produces 110 MLD sewerage, has at least 66 STPs for treating the liquid waste.

Sources said the lack of funding had halted the process of establishing adequate STPs in the urban areas of the state.

Meanwhile, an official from Departments of Housing and Urban Development said the government was considering to establish a network of (STPs) of adequate capacities in the state. “These STPs will also be installed in all major towns and prominent tourist resorts across the state,” he said.