GHAZIABAD: Groundwater samples in 93 of 168 areas around the Hindon river have been found to be unsafe for drinking, a report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has stated.
The survey by CPCB was carried out in seven districts through which the Hindon river or its distributaries pass. The areas where groundwater was found to contain high levels of fluoride, sulphate, oil and grease, and heavy metals are Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur and Shamli.
The report states that the major reason for groundwater getting contaminated is the growing number of polluting factories. Of a total 195 factories that were supposed to be operating effluent treatment plants, 119 were found to have not set any such infrastructure, the report says. In addition, 232 factories have been found to be generating 65,646 KLD of waste water, which is finding its way to the Hindon river mostly untreated through drains.
Officials said the CPCB had recommended a set of action for departments and agencies concerned to contain the contamination. The UPPCB has suggested the closure of all factories that are extracting groundwater and discharging it without proper treatment. The UP Jal Nigam has been directed to provide alternative source of water in areas where drinking was found to be contaminated.
Sources said the agriculture department had also been asked to close down dams where water was stagnant, causing the groundwater to become contaminated. The survey in the Hindon catchment area was carried out following an NGT order in January. The Hindon has been termed a “dead river” and its water declared “unfit” by the CPCB in 2015.