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Sabarmati not polluted? Gujarat CM 'lied' on Gandhi martyrs day: Top envionmentalist

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani stating during his poll campaign in Delhi on January 30 that Sabarmati river has become clean after the Riverfront Development Project was implemented, senior environmental activist Mahesh Pandya has said it doesn't augur well for him to "lie of the Gandhi martyrs day."
Commenting on Rupani, Pandya, who is director of the NGO Paryavaran Mitra, and has been working in close coordination with Government of India and Gujarat government agencies on environmental issues, said, on two different occasions, two separate GoI ministries qualified Sabarmati as one the most polluted Gujarat rivers.
Citing a report by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) dated March 23, 2019, Pandya, who is an invitee from India to the United Nations for climate change and environment, said, even the 11-kilometre stretch Sabarmati Riverfront Front has been qualified as polluted.
He added, "It should also be remembered that the Riverfront does not have any Sabarmati river water. It is filled with Narmada waters... Rupani was making his statement purely for electoral gain."
On November 28, 2019, Rattan Lal Kataria, minister of state for water resources, in an answer to an unstarred question to the Lok Sabha, identifying Sabarmati as one of the 323 polluted rivers of India, said that this to "due to discharge of untreated and partially treated sewage from cities/towns and industrial effluents."
20 polluted stretches of rivers have been identified in Gujarat based on Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), a key indicator of organic pollution
Kataria continued, "Non-point sources of pollution like agricultural runoff, runoff from solid waste dump sites, etc. also contribute to pollution of rivers", adding, as per the latest report of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), "351 polluted river stretches have been identified on 323 rivers based on the value of Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)."
The 20 polluted rivers identified by CPCB are -- Amlakhadi, Bhadar, Bhogavo, Khari, Sabarmati, Vishwamitri, Dhadar, Triveni, Amravati (tributary of Narmada), Damanganga, Kolak, Mahi, Shedhi, Tapi, Anas, Balehwar Khadi, Kim, Meshwa, Mindhola, and Narmada.
Answering another unstarred question, Babul Supriyo, minister of state for environment, forests and climate change, said on July 19, 2019, "As per a report published by CPCB in September, 2018, 351 rivers stretches are identified as polluted. Out of these, 20 polluted stretches of rivers have been identified in Gujarat based on Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), a key indicator of organic pollution."
He added, "Water bodies including rivers in the country are mainly polluted due to discharge of untreated and partially treated sewage from cities/towns and industrial effluents. Non-point sources of pollution like agricultural runoff, open defecation, runoff from solid waste dump sites, etc. also contribute to pollution."

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