A panel of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has confirmed that the blood of illegally slaughtered animals which is drained in the Varuna river is turning the stream of the river at some places into differing shades of a blood-red colour. Earlier this year, in January, the NGT instituted Eastern UP Rivers and Water Reservoirs Monitoring Committee (EUP-RWRMC), during their examination found the red colour of the water.
In a report submitted to the NGT, the EUP-RWRMC has mentioned that the pollution of the city’s Varuna and Assi rivers is due to the major and minor sewers from Ardali Bazar carry “slaughter-house untreated effluent” and domestic excrement into the Varuna which carries it eventually into the Ganga. Headed by retired Justice D.P. Singh, the EUP-RWRMC has suggested the NGT to levy an environmental penalty of more than Rs 27 lakh on the Varanasi Municipal Corporation (VMC) for failing to act in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has recognised Varuna’s expanse from Rameshwar Ghat to Adikeshwar Ghat as befouled. As per some reports, scientists have claimed that the Varuna’s water quality is “extremely poor” and the oxygen levels carried by the river water are “below detectable limits”. gave Reports by various scientists have also confirmed that the Varuna’s water quality is “poor” and oxygen levels of the river downstream are “below detectable limits”. The water of the two rivers have been found to be unfit for bathing, drinking, fish culture and is being instructed to use only for irrigation. industrial cooling and controlled waste disposal.
According to panel secretary Rajendra Singh, the oxygen levels of the dissolved oxygen in upstream of Shashtri Ghat was found 2.5 mg/L before the waste from sewages drained in the river. In downstream, after the excrement from Ardali Bazaar mixed in the river water, the dissolved oxygen levels were found to be below detectable limits. Singh said, “These results indicate how dangerous untreated effluents from these slaughterhouses are and how they render the water of the river unpotable and hazardous for consumption.”
The panel has pinned the blame on the state government, the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Central Board, CPCB, VMC, district authorities and the Jal Nigam for the rampant pollution in the river. The panel has prescribed that Varanasi administration and VMC must put an end to the flow of animal carcasses, blood and flesh from illegal drains on the banks of the two rivers within two months. The panel has also asked the relevant authorities to declare an advisory to people to not bathe in the Varuna and Assi as they are highly contaminated.