The Number of Pollution Levels in the Rivers of India has Decreased

The Number of Pollution Levels in the Rivers of India has Decreased

The Number of Pollution Levels in the Rivers of India has Decreased

This article talks about how Rivers Pollution in India affects the Environment and Ecology of India. In GS- 3and the following content has relevance for Daily Current Affairs for UPSC. 

For prelims: Facts about Biological Oxygen demand

For mains: GS-3, Environment and ecology

Why in News: According to a study from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)the number of pollution levels in the rivers of India has decreased from 351 in 2018 to 311 in 2022 despite the number of most polluted sections remaining almost unchanged.

Key Facts of Rivers Pollution in India

  • A “polluted river stretch” is defined as two or more polluted areas found along a river in a straight line. The river stretch is suitable for “Outdoor Bathing” if the BOD is less than 3 mg/L.
  • Polluted areas are those where the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) is greater than 3.0 mg/L (milligram per liter).
  • The concentration of Dissolved oxygen (DO) has slightly increased.
  • Moreover, locations with Biological Oxygen Demand contents exceeding 30 mg/L are labeled as “Priority 1,” indicating that they are the most polluted and need the most urgent remediation.
  • “Priority 2” refers to biological oxygen demand values between 20 and 30 mg/L.
  • “Priority 5” designates concentrations between 3 and 6 mg/L.
  • The number of segments that go from 1 to 2, 2 to 3, until those in 5 (requiring the least activity) to reduce, is used to gauge the success of river-cleaning programs.

About Biological oxygen demand (BOD):

  • The amount of organic waste that contaminates water is measured by the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).
  • BOD is the amount of dissolved oxygen that bacteria in water need to break down organic wastes. The amount of oxygen is expressed in milligrams per liter of water.
  • A Low DO level in the water is indicated by a higher BOD value.
  • BOD is not a valid way to measure water contamination because it only includes biodegradable elements.

Biological oxygen demand concentration consistently determines the five categories in which the polluted river segments are prioritized.

Priority 1:


Exceeding Biological  Oxygen Demand levels >30 milligrams a liter.
Priority 2: Biological Oxygen Demand  between 20&30 mg / l


Priority 3: Biological Oxygen Demand  between 10 & 20mg / l


Priority 4: Biological Oxygen Demand between 6-10 mg / l


Priority 5: Biological Oxygen Demand between 3& 6 mg / l


Chemical oxygen demand (COD):

The COD test determines how much oxygen, measured in parts per million, is needed to oxidize organic (both biodegradable and non-biodegradable) and oxidizable inorganic molecules in the water sample.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)

  • A statutory body, the CPCB was established in September 1974 in accordance with the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act.
  • In accordance with the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981, it was given certain authority and responsibilities.
  • It performs the functions of a field formation and offers technical assistance to the Ministry of Environment and Forests in accordance with the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • As described in the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1974 and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981, prevent, control, and mitigate water pollution to improve the cleanliness of streams and wells throughout the country.

 National Green Tribunal (NGT)

  •  It is a specialized organization established under the National Green Tribunal Act of 2010 to dispose of environmental protection and the preservation of forests and other natural resources matter effectively and quickly.
  • With the creation of the NGT, India became the first developing nation and the third country in the world (after Australia and New Zealand) to establish a specialized environmental tribunal.
  • Within six months after the application or appeal’s submission, the NGT is required to render a final decision.
  • The NGT meets in five locations; New Delhi serves as its principal location, with the other four locations being Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata, and Chennai.


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Plutus IAS current affairs eng med 26th Dec 2022

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