Mahanadi Highly Polluted At Confluence, Most Odisha River Waters Unsafe For Drinking

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Bhubaneswar: The water of major rivers and their distributaries and tributaries in Odisha is highly polluted, says a report by the Odisha Water Supply & Sewerage Board (OWSSB). The Mahanadi is particularly very polluted near the confluence.

The board recently conducted a sample test of the Mahanadi’s water and its 26 tributaries and found that the water of 10 rivers at 33 locations was not potable. Also, the water of 16 rivers at 41 places was found not potable or usable.

Mentioned below are the locations where the waters of the Mahanadi and its distributaries and tributaries was found to be highly polluted.

1. Ib river of Mahanadi basin in Jharsuguda
2. Upper and lower catchments of Mahanadi in Sambalpur and Huma
3. Lower catchment of Mahanadi in Cuttack, Kataganjpur and Kama Sasan
4. Serua river at Sanakhyatrasa
5. Upper and lower catchment areas of Kuakhai in Bhubaneswar.
6. Daya river in Bhubaneswar.

Apart from this, the Gangua Nullah in Bhubaneswar and the waters of other tributaries like Birupa, Kushabhadra, Bhargabi, Mangala, Gobari, Kusumi, Kansari, Sabulia, Badasankha, Luna and Ratnachira are also highly polluted.

Besides Mahanadi and its tributaries, other major rivers like the Brahmani, Baitarani and Rushikulya and tributaries such as Sankha and Koel are also polluted. Barring Talcher, Kabatabandha and Bhuban, waters in the remaining riverside areas of Brahmani are highly polluted.

Also, the waters of Nadira river in the lower catchment areas, Kharasrota river at Binjharpur, Badajhora Nullah, Banguru Nullah and Bangaru-Singadajhor nullah of Guradinala river and the Karo river in Barbil were also found to be highly polluted.

Strangely, though the OWSSB has in its report mentioned the waters of the aforesaid rivers and their distributaries and tributaries as exceeding pollution limits, it has not put restrictions against the use of water at any place.

As per the information available with the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB), all rivers and their distributaries and tributaries in the state are under the Category-C. Though the pH value and volume of diluted oxygen in the water of these rivers is not alarming, the concentration of biological oxygen demand (BOD) and coliform bacteria (TC) in the water is so high that direct contact with the water triggers serious skin diseases.

According to OSPCB specifications, the minimum pH level of river water should be between 6.5 and 8.5, while the diluted oxygen per litre should be 4 mg and more. Similarly, the BOD level should remain at 3 or less while the TC level should be less than 5,000. But the BOD and the TC level in all major rivers in the state has remained high, the Board said.

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