In May of this year, a team of ecologists has traveled along the Narmada River since its origin in Amarkantak in the Anuppur district in the city of Arkansas in the district in Anuppur is Madhya Pradesh, in the Barwani district, in the Mouth of Gujarat in the west. They wanted to take stock of the situation of this ancient river and its environment as part of a high-level state government campaign for Narmada conservation.
What they found was a good reminder of how one of the sacred rivers of India is destroyed. In the 14 districts where they traveled, towns and cities used up untreated sewage and effluent pump industries, as well as deforestation on the surrounding beaches Satpura and Vindhya, dried up 60 of the 101 tributaries that fed the Narmada. The water table has dropped to levels below 300 feet or more from the surrounding area, the garbage piled up in the cities and riverbanks are invaded.
The sand extraction mechanized unrestricted from about 1,100 km long Narmada MP. Several species of fish, including Mahaseer, are in terminal phase due to contamination and destruction of the habitat.
“Even at the source, the Narmada Kund in Amarkantak, we find pipes that discharge sewage into the river and people deféchaient on the opposite shore,” TOI Vinayak Parihar, a member of the team, told TOI. The trip was organized by the Vicar platform Madhya Pradesh small environmental groups and other advocacy groups. Almost none of the urban centers located on the banks of the river has water treatment plants (STP). Jabalpur, the largest city of Narmada, produces 200 million liters of wastewater per day, but only occupies 0.55 MLD. An STP 50 MLD built near the village of Kathauda is not functional.
Along the length, the industrial units are being the discharge of effluent into the river or its tributaries. In Jabalpur, a gelatine factory Lahaina Ghat allows effluents to flow into the river since six mills in Narsinghpur, the industrial belt in Hoshangabad Suhagpur and several dozens large dairies.
The State Pollution Control Board has filed cases against 18 municipal bodies located within 10 km of the Narmada River, including civil organizations Jabalpur, Hoshangabad, Mandla, Dindori, and Bhedaghat.
In addition, on the carpet are five industrial units, including the central government security paper factory, located in Hoshangabad. The team found that small and large tributaries along the entire river were in danger. All are used to carry water all year round for about a decade. Now, almost two-thirds are dry, many lost forever.
“Invasion mining and major sand destroyed the canals while deforestation of the surrounding forests dried up water sources,” Parihar said.
In Hoshangabad, for example, there are only 11 approved sand exploration sites, but the team found that the extraction takes place at 50 sites. At the lower end of the river, as it passes through Khandwa and Dewas, most of the tributaries do not flow when the water backed up Indra Sagar.
Parihar said bright shows involving politicians and movie stars are of little use, as it gives the river a living entity status. Until the government to seriously implement existing laws and involves people in this area, Narmada will continue to die a thousand deaths.