JKPCB 'clueless' over pollution in Doodh Ganga, fails to conduct water testing

Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Board (JKPCB) is said to be “clueless” over pollution in Doodh Ganga—a famed water body which is a source of potable water supply to over 9 lakh souls in Srinagar district.

In a Right to Information application by Dr. Raja Muzaffar Bhat to a question that does J&K Pollution Control Board undertaken any study regarding Water Pollution being caused by fecal matter and liquid waste getting drained into Doodh Ganga river which is source of Drinking Water for around 8 to 9 lakh population in Srinagar city.

PCB has replied “Doodh Ganga water doesn’t presently fall in the monitoring schedule of the water lab Srinagar. However sampling of this water body at one location was carried by district office Budgam upon the directions of concerned deputy commissioner. Sample was then analyzed for various physico chemical parameters. The analysis report was forwarded to I/C D.O for its onward submission to deputy commissioner.

“No study has been undertaken by Water lab PCB Srinagar,” it replied to a query about how many lavatories and drains go into the Doodh Ganga river from Branwar to Barzulla via Chadoora, Wathoora areas of District Budgam.

To another query has any study been undertaken by JK PCB vis a vis fecal matter and liquid waste being drained into River Jhelum from Khanabal to Baramulla ?

“An exercise has been undertaken by J&K PCB with allied departments of respective district administration to locate the toilets and drains that empty into River Jhelum from Khanabal to Baramulla.  A survey to river Jhelum was conducted in the year 2019 to find out the point source and diffuse sources of pollution. The observations made in the study were submitted to the High Court in a case titled Javid Ahmad Zargar VS State and others based on the report submitted by PCB many toilets have been demolished by the concerned agency,” PCB has stated in its reply.