Patna, Aug 9: In a bid to check pollution in the Ganges, the Bihar pollution control board has directed 21 urban local bodies to build sewage treatment plants along the river.
The board has also warned that action would be taken against the local bodies if the directive was ignored, an official said Thursday.
Board official S.N. Jaiswal said it was found that major drains carried untreated sewage and garbage into the the river every day in several towns including Patna.
“This is polluting the river more than anything else in Bihar,” Jaisal told IANS.
“The urban bodies cannot be exonerated from their responsibility in checking the flow of sewage into the river.”
He said the offending urban bodies would be prosecuted under the Pollution Control Act.
Although considered holy by Hindus, the Ganges is highly polluted in Bihar. About 30 large drains in Patna alone discharge about 190 million litres of untreated sewage and garbage into the the river every day.
Tested samples of the water have revealed a high presence of coliform bacteria.
“The water is not only unfit for human consumption, it is not fit for even bathing,” a board official said.
One study says the river in Bihar is unfit for farm production too. Even the river banks are filthy, with garbage dumped at many places.