The Government has underlined that there has been a significant reduction in industrial pollution in River Ganga. The problem of black liquor discharge and spent wash has been largely controlled. According to the last assessment in 2012, the total waste water generation and its organic load in terms of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) from 764 Grossly Polluting Industries (GPI) was 501 MLD and 131 tonnes per day. Conservative estimates say that discharge from industries has been brought down by 125 MLD. It is estimated that the BOD load reduction resulting from units which have achieved ZLD norms in distillery and pulp & paper sectors, apart from those which are permanently closed, will be about 30 tonnes per day.
Addressing a press conference here today, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, said that there has been substantial progress in installation of Online Continuous Effluent Monitoring Systems (OCEMS). Out of 764 Grossly Polluting Industries (GPI), 514 units have already installed Online Continuous Effluent Monitoring System (OCEMS), while 94 are in the process. However, the Minister said that closure orders have been issued to 150 remaining units that have not responded to installation of OCEMS. Responses of 6 other units are being examined. Steps are also being taken to establish connectivity of OCEMS with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) server.
The Central Pollution Control Board had formulated an Action Plan for abatement of industrial pollution in Ganga main stem states, covering five key industrial sectors - sugar, paper and pulp, distillery, textile and tannery, with the twin objectives of reducing effluent generation and organic load. CPCB is directly monitoring the progress of implementation of Action Plans in sugar, paper and pulp, distillery, while progress in other two sectors is being facilitated by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation.
CPCB carried out inspections of 130 industries since December last year to assess progress in implementation of Action Plans. The 130 industries included 48 pulp & paper, 54 sugar and 28 distilleries units. The inspections were specifically mandated to confirm the facts relating to conservation of water, reduction in waste water generation and pollution load. In the process of inspections, public opinion was also taken into consideration.