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Offenbach am Main, Germany
A two-member German study team of an Indo-German joint venture for cleaning up the river Ganga was stunned when it came to know that 41 million litres of untreated water is being discharged per day in the river in the city.
Mayor Jagatveer Singh Drona, at a meeting held at Municipal Corporation on October 13, informed the team that the city was producing 50 million litres a day of sewage waste per day and only 9 million litres a day could be treated and the remaining untreated sewage is being discharged directly into the river.
The two-member team comprising Fritz Holyzwarth former deputy Director General water and marine department in ministry of environment in Germany and UWE Faehmann former division head in the Bavaria Water Management Authority and consultant for International Cooperation projects in the water sector in Indonesia, Thailand and China visited the city on October 13. They first met representatives of tanneries and later inspected a tannery unit, sewage treatment plant and Sisamau nullah.
The team is here to study and then suggest ways to solve problem of Ganga pollution. Germany has recently expressed desire to assist in cleaning Ganga as it had cleaned its river Rhine successfully.
The team members asked if there was any authority to check river pollution and penalise polluters? Mayor Drona informed them that Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which is a Central government's body is a licensing and enforcing authority in the country.
"The pollution laws are not very harsh. There is a provision to impose fine to the tune of Rs 50 to 200 (US$0.8-3.26) and therefore no deterrent measures could be taken against the polluting unit or person", he said.
"The treatment plant installed at Jajmau for tannery waste is not working properly due to corrupt practices as a result of which untreated water is being discharged into the river under the nose of CPB", commented Umesh Pratap Singh Municipal Commissioner.
Replying to another query he stated that quantity of untreated water was more than water in the river that's why colour and odour of the river water has changed. Besides, tanneries, and hospitals etc were also discharging their waste directly into the river.
Source: Times of India