Sabarmati riverfront is considered a model in giving facelift to an ailing river. However, if figures of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change submitted in Lok Sabha on January 5 are considered, Sabarmati is among Gujarat’s 20 most polluted rivers. Gujarat ranks fourth among the states with highly polluted rivers.
The MoEF states Gujarat has 20 polluted rivers and streams, including big rivers like Sabarmati, Narmada and Mahi. Maharashtra is worse off with 49 polluted rivers. Next is Assam with 28 polluted rivers and Madhya Pradesh with 21 such rivers.
According to MoEF data, the Union government has released over Rs.200 crore to curb pollution in Sabarmati and Mindola rivers. This is the highest amount ever spent outside the Ganga river conservation project on which Uttar Pradesh government has spent Rs.917.24 crore, West Bengal Rs.411.26 crore and Bihar Rs.216.46 crore. Experts believe industrial effluents is the most common reason for pollution of Gujarat’s rivers. Vadodara-based environmental activist Rohit Prajapati says industrial and sewage effluents are being released in big rivers like Sabarmati, Mahi and Narmada without being treated.
“Moreover, dams have been built on big rivers due to which the rivers are drying and vanishing. The condition of rivers in Gujarat is going from bad to worse each passing day,” Prajapati said.