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Maharashtra Pollution Control Board survey declares Mumbai’s water quality index as bad as air quality index

According to a survey by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) the water quality index of Mumbai is bad much like air quality index. According the survey Mumbai’s expensive real eastate is surrounded by polluted water. Water quality index at Malabar Hill, Nariman Point, Gateway of India, Worli sea face, Juhu and towards the Bandra end of the Mithi River, showed high pollution as a result of a surge in domestic waste being deposited in these areas.

Under the National Water Monitoring Programme of the Union environment ministry the MPCB carried out a survey in Maharashtra at 188 locations between March and August 2016. The water quality monitoring was carried out fewer than four parameters- pH, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand fecal coliform.

National Sanitation Foundation, USA developed a standardised method to compare water quality of variety of water bodies, according to the standardised process, a water quality index reading between 63 and 100, denoted by colour green is considered to be between ‘good to excellent, ‘, reading between 50 to 63 denoted by colour yellow is considered to be ‘medium to good’, reading between 38 to 50 denoted by orange colour is considered to ‘bad’ and anything below 38 is considered to be  very bad and it is denoted by the colour red.

164 locations of the 188 that were monitored are considered to be in ‘good to excellent’ category, around 16 locations of the total number fell in ‘bad’ category. The locations included in the bad category have six locations of Mumbai and Pune respectively and four from Raigad. There were 8 other locations in Raigad, Thane and Palghar whose water quality index was considered to be worst which is in ‘bad to very bad category’.

According to a report in a English daily newspaper Hindustan Times, “We had been accumulating data since 2004. However, we decided to come out with a precise number to identify water quality to the public through this study. The idea is to introduce WQI for awareness purposes for local municipal corporations or other bodies to take stock of pollution levels at nearby water bodies,” said a senior official from MPCB’s water quality department. “We observed that the coastline along megacities like Mumbai and rivers and lakes in smaller cities had an inflow of sewage that is being channeled through nullahs to the water bodies,” said the official. “The remaining 20% pollutant source consisted of a small quantity of oil, industrial effluents and rest was natural sources arising from the base of water bodies.” “While Mumbai still has a good sewage treatment facility, other cities need to ensure they treat their sewage through MPCB approved treatment facilities,” he said. “Awareness drives have been conducted and directives have been issued to municipal corporations. We expect that the index will change towards the fairer side through a similar study within a year or two.”

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