Tale of two rivers: Sharda to resuscitate dying GomtiJune 19th, 2008 - 12:39 pm ICT by IANS
By Sharat Pradhan
Lucknow, June 19 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh has come up with a plan to resuscitate the dying Gomti river, once the lifeline of this city, by linking it to the well-fed Himalayan river Sharda through a 100-km long canal. “The canal would bring surplus water from the Sharda into the water-scarce Gomti very close to its fast-evaporating source in Pilibhit district,” S.K. Lakha, state principal urban development secretary, told IANS.
“The river link would infuse new life into the Gomti that was once upon a time the lifeline of Lucknow.”
Lakha said the decision was taken at last week’s meeting of the state advisory council. “This was done at the behest of council chairman Satish Chandra Misra, who has been taking keen interest in finding ways and means to rid the Gomti of its ever increasing pollution.”
The Gomti originates from a pond-like structure in Pilibhit. Over the years, this water source has shrunk, reducing the flow in the river. Besides, 400 million litres of domestic sewage is dumped into the river in Lucknow every day, polluting it. The sewage treatment plant here has a capacity of only 42 MLD (million litres per day).
According to Lakha, “The plan envisages a constant supply of adequate water from the Sharda, which receives abundant water from its Himalayan source, to the thirsty Gomti.”
He said the link would be established between Pilibhit and Pallia in Lakhimpur-Kheri district and hoped it would be a “permanent solution” to the perennial problem of a rapidly drying Gomti.
The advisory council had earlier constituted a high-level committee comprising principal irrigation secretary Manjeet Singh, Lucknow district magistrate Chandra Bhanu and municipal commissioner S.K. Singh to periodically monitor the pollution levels of the Gomti in Lucknow.
According to R.P. Singh, the advisory council secretary, “With the BOD (biological oxygen demand) level dropping to below 30, the Gomti water has been found to be unfit for aquatic life and the fast depleting water mass in the river makes it difficult to contain or reduce the extent of pollution.”
Council chairman Misra has now directed the state Water Pollution Prevention and Control Board to keep track of the pollution levels of all major rivers, including the mighty Ganga and the Yamuna flowing through the state.
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Tags: abundant water, bhanu, biological oxygen demand, district magistrate, domestic sewage, kheri district, lakha, long canal, lucknow district, manjeet singh, municipal commissioner, pallia, perennial problem, pollution levels, r p singh, satish chandra, sewage treatment plant, state advisory council, surplus water, two rivers