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Data on polluted rivers

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environment Conservation


Source: The Hindu

 Context: The number of polluted stretches in India’s rivers has fallen from 351 in 2018 to 311 in 2022 though the number of most polluted stretches is practically unchanged, according to a report from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) 

 No change/ slight change in the Priority I & II category of polluted river stretches indicates that further stringent actions are required for control of organic pollution from various point sources of pollution including the development of infrastructure and its proper operation for treatment of wastewater before discharge into recipient water bodies.

 Reason for the high pollution level in India’s rivers

  • Point source pollution: (pollution entering the river through pipes, channels, etc., from a source such as industry)
    • Industrial Pollution
  • Non-point source pollution: (pollution entering the waterways is accumulative)
  • Faulty planning:
    • Lack of utilization of funds
    • Delay in Projects
  • Lack of proper maintenance
  • Urbanization
  • Minimum river flow has deteriorated over the years
  • Sand Dredging
  • Religious ​and Social ​Practices

 Government Measures to clean Indian Rivers

  • Namami Ganga Programme: twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation, and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
  • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)is a five-tier structure at the national, state, and district levels for prevention, control, and abatement of environmental pollution in river Ganga.
  • National River Conservation Plan
  • National Water Monitoring Programme (NWMP)
  • Vision for 2030: clean rivers, with safe drinking water to all Indians, sustaining and nourishing life, and efficient use of water in irrigation using micro-irrigation techniques.


Insta Links:

Water Pollution

Mains Link:

Q. 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)