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6) Examine the factors behind the high levels of pollution in Indian rivers. What can be done to protect our rivers from degradation and slow death. Discuss.(250 words)

TopicConservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

6) Examine the factors behind the high levels of pollution in Indian rivers. What can be done to protect our rivers from degradation and slow death. Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Rivers are the lifeline of any society and these lifelines have been subjected to pollution, overexploitation to the levels that many of them are beyond restoration. In this context it is important to discuss the state of the major rivers in India and discuss the strategy needed to prevent them from being degraded and dead.

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the state of the major rivers in India- their pollution levels, encroachment and major issues affecting them. It then wants us to discuss the strategy needed to prevent them from being degraded and dead.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the importance of rivers for agriculture, domestic use, industry etc. Mention some of the schemes formulated for river conservation- Namami Ganga; AMRUT; National River Conservation Plan etc. mention that most of the rivers in India are in bad health, highly polluted etc.

Body-

  • Discuss the state of indian rivers. Mention the findings of some authentic reports and studies e.g A Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) report of 2015 brought out the fact that 61,948 million litres of urban sewage is generated on a daily basis in India. But the cities have an installed sewage treatment capacity of only 38 percent of this. In reality more than this amount goes untreated into the rivers or water bodies as the treatment capacity of major sewage treatment plants (STPs) in the country is around 66 per cent of the installed capacity as per CPCB findings of 2013. As a result, more than 38,000 million litres of waste water goes into the major rivers, water bodies and even percolates into the ground every day. Over and above this there is industrial effluent. The data on the raw sewage from rural areas is not available; The top five states showing maximum number of polluted stretches are Maharashtra, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal. Estimated polluted riverine length is 12,363 km, which is almost five times the length of Ganga main stem etc.
  • Discuss the strategy needed to protect the rivers in India. E.g building adequate no. of STPs; creating awareness about the importance of the rivers and involving civil society in conservation programmes; Decentralized In-situ treatment is simple and easy-to-operate and does not require major modification of the drain; On the industrial side, the plan to bring all liquid effluent discharge from textile units and tanneries to zero has to be pursued vigorously, giving industries the assistance to help them choose the best technologies for the recovery of wastewater for reuse etc.

Conclusion– sum up your discussion in a few lines and form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the above issue.