A major long-term revival and rejuvenation plan for ‘dead river’ Hindon has been launched in a last minute attempt to reverse the river’s damage, which includes a public funding account set up by the Meerut divisional commissioner.
Alarming pollution levels of the Hindon river has called for drastic intervention by way of a collective effort by both locals and authorities.
The fund has already received ₹1 crore from the Meerut development authority, and The Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) is currently digging ponds in different parts of the district.
Meerut divisional commissioner, Dr Prabhat Kumar, told Hindustan Times, “For Hindon, we are focusing on cleaning up and preventing pollutants in two of its tributaries, the Krishni and Kali rivers. The whole idea is to have community participation and a change of mindset before the river clean-up programme can show good results.”
Historically referred to as the Harnandi, the Hindon, which is a tributary of Yamuna, rises in the Lower Himalayas. The river is over 280km long and flows through seven districts of western Uttar Pradesh before meeting the Yamuna in Gautam Buddha Nagar district.
According to the State Pollution Control Board stations in the area, around 98,000 kilo litres of waste is dumped into the Hindon directly in addition to 85,000 kilo litres of waste being dumped in its tributaries, Krishni and West Kali rivers, every day.
Hindon, which went from being a lifeline to thousands to a carrier of toxic industrial waste, was given the status of a ‘dead river’ and its water declared ‘unfit’ for bathing by the Central Pollution Control Board in 2015.
It is said that the river’s demise started in the 1980s when factories started coming up in the areas and began using the river as an industrial waste dumping ground.
“Around 70 major polluting industries – paper, sugar, distilleries, chemical industries and slaughterhouses – draw large amounts of water from the river and also discharge untreated wastewater into it as well as its main tributaries the Kali and Krishni,” says Raman Tyagi of Neer Foundation, an NGO which has been working on conservation issues related to the Hindon for over a decade.
As part of the long-term plan to preserve the river, Kumar has asked officials to form district-level awareness committees to educate the masses about keeping the river clean and to encourage local farmers to take up organic farming to prevent pesticide and fertiliser run-offs from fields.
Want to contribute?
Contributions towards ‘Nirmal Hindon’ can be sent to ‘MDA – Nirmal Hindon Kosh’ with the Allahabad Bank, IFSC code: ALLA0212075.
An online page is currently in the making and is planned to be launched soon.
Neer Foundation can be contacted here.