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| Last Updated:19/02/2014

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Sewage responsible for 70% of river pollution

Chittaranjan Tembhekar,TNN, 19 February 2014


MUMBAI: A government survey reveals that the sewage from cities, villages and towns is polluting the state's rivers in a much bigger way than industrial wastes. According to the government data, 70% pollution in the catchment areas of 20 major rivers is caused by untreated sewage flowing in from towns and villages as against 30% of river pollution being caused by the industrial wastes. According to the study, this pollution has led to a growing number of jaundice and diarrhoea cases.


Keeping this in mind, the state cabinet on Tuesday approved a river conservation plan. Under this, the government will provide funds to villages, towns and cities to treat sewage and ensure that only purified water is released in the rivers.


"To stop pollution of river, sewage following from cities and towns will be diverted and treated for farming and industrial purposes under the scheme. Initially, small municipal corporations, councils and village panchayats will be funded by the state to set up sewage treatment plants," said the Tuesday's resolution.


"The river catchments along the towns, which are religiously, historically, industrially important will be given priority under the scheme," it added.


While state government will offer 80% funding to the local self-government bodies, remaining 20% will have to be arranged by the local body itself.


Water experts such as Madhav Chitale, however, feels that money alone will not help local bodies to run such a project for a longer period. "Besides giving money, the government will have to empower these bodies by providing them technical assistance to run such a scheme," Chitale said.