Water Quality Assessment Authority

Government of India

Surface Water Quality Status

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) which comes under Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India, monitors water quality of all important water bodies located on 206 rivers of the country. The presence of contaminations such as toxic metals beyond permissible limits can be considered as poisonous. The CPCB has measured toxic metals in 120 rivers. The results indicate that the toxic metals i.e. Arsenic, Copper, Cadmium, Chromium Total, Nickel, Mercury, and Lead were detected in some of the rivers, the levels of which were mostly found within permissible limit prescribed by Bureau of Indian Standards on Drinking Water standards, except some rivers. The Chromium total exceeded only in 02 numbers of rivers, copper exceeded in 14 numbers of rivers and cadmium exceeded in 05 numbers of rivers.

CPCB has identified 1145 Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs) in the country, which were not having effluent treatment facilities and were discharging wastewater into river and lakes. Out of 1145 GPIs, 109 units are found defaulter, State Pollution Control Boards are taking action for implementation of pollution control in these defaulting units.

National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) is a flagship scheme of Govt. of India, Ministry of Environment & Forest for abatement of pollution and conservation of rivers in the country. Under this plan, various pollution abatement works are undertaken for improving the water quality of the rivers in the country. The pollution abatement works include interception and diversion works to capture the raw sewage flowing into the river; Development of sewage treatment plants; Low cost sanitation works near river banks; Electric and/or improve wood based crematoria works; River front development works such as Improvement if bathing ghats etc. Despite phenomenal increase in urban population, the water quality of various rivers has shown reduction in organic pollution in some stretches.

At present, the plan covers 167 towns in 20 states along the polluted stretch of 38 rivers.