India is very rich in its natural heritage. It consists of beautiful landscapes, mountains, hills and waterbodies. Rivers are one of the most important water bodies in our Country. Some of the major rivers include The Brahmaputra, Ganga, Narmada, Kaveri, Godavari, Sabarmati etc. Rivers play a very important role in the lives of the Indians.
Many cities of India are located by the banks of river. This is because they help in irrigation, transportation, drinking water etc. With the increased settlement by the banks of river, the number of wastes thrown into the rivers have also increased. As we know, where there is human habitation, there ought to be a mess. The wastes created by people are all thrown into these rivers which causes river pollution.
With the advent of technology as well as Industrial evolution, many Industries came into being. All the wastes from these industries were thrown into the rivers. Gradually, the intensity of these wastes started increasing. The pollutants were directly or indirectly discharged into the rivers. This intensified the scenario of river pollution in India.
The chemical wastes include heavy metals, radioactive waste, plastics, oil tanker spills, etc. The effects of chemical wastes is much more dangerous and hazardous to life.
River Pollution & It’s Causes
The river pollutants can be mainly classified into natural germs and man made chemicals. Germs basically include various disease causing organisms, dead bodies etc. Various carcass are thrown into the rivers without any second thoughts. This may lead to river pollution.
Sewage and faeces are openly thrown into the water. Microbial pollutants from sewage often result in infectious diseases that infect aquatic life and terrestrial life through drinking water.
Chemicals include the pollutants discharged from various factories, industries etc. These wastes are not treated properly before discharging into the rivers which results in polluting them.
Most Polluted Rivers in India
According to a survey, the top most polluted rivers in India includes the Ganga, Yamuna and Sabarmati. These river banks are home to some of the most developed cities of the country.
Due to lack of a proper disposal system, they have turned up to be the most highly polluted rivers.
The pollution in river Ganga is mostly due to domestic wastes. A number of religious practices are carried on in this “holy river” . Mass bathing and rituals contribute a lot towards pollution. Moreover, the domestic and agricultural wastes are also a source of great concern.
On the other hand, the river Yamuna is mostly dumped with industrial wastes. In Haryana, it gets polluted with pesticides and agricultural wastes. But when it enters Delhi, it becomes an industrial garbage disposal drain. Earlier, the river Yamuna was considered to be so pure that the Mughals even built the Taj Mahal on its banks. But now the scene is not the same anymore.
Although only two examples have been cited here, but the case of other rivers in India is no different. With time, river pollution is taking a dangerous shape. If this continues, we may not be left with any source of drinking water.
Harmful Effects of Water Pollution
There are various effects of water pollution. But the most immediate effect is on the animals and plants living in these rivers. The harmful pollutants cover the surface water and it becomes difficult for the water animals to breathe. It results in death of the marine animals which leads to disruption in the natural food chain.
The human beings are also highly affected by river pollution. It leads to decrease in fresh drinking water. Intake of polluted water may lead to a number of deadly diseases such as cancer. Potable water is one of the basic needs for sustaining life in this planet. In its absence, the human race will cease to exist.
River pollution harms the ecology. It harms the environment around us.
How to Prevent from River Pollution?
It is said that prevention is better than cure. It is a very apt statement indeed. Much has been done to damage our river bodies. Now its time to cure and prevent them from further deployment.
Various steps can be taken to prevent river pollution. Firstly, it is very important to educate people regarding the issue. Unless the understand the hazardous effects of water pollution, they will not pay heed to prevent it.
Secondly, proper sewage disposal system should be constructed. Proper waste management is of utmost importance in today’s society. The industrial wastes should be treated before discharging them into the rivers.
Thirdly, strict rules should be made regarding pollution of rivers. Moreover, rules should be implemented also.
Rivers are the backbone of any kind of civilization. It is of vital importance for the survival and growth of human race. If not for anyone else, atleast for our own selfish motives, we should protect the rivers from getting polluted. It’s time to be a responsible citizen and keep our rivers clean!!