BHUBANESWAR: While several agencies have been given the task to ensure free flow of water through drainage lines, their attention has not reached up to Gangua Nala. What was once a freshwater stream is now the main ejection mechanism for exit of waste water from capital Bhubaneswar – a city that finds a place in the central list of Smart Cities.
Currently, about 10 drainage channels run west to east criss-crossing the city for discharge of waste water. Nine out of 10 channels finally reach Gangua Nala and discharge, on an average, more than 120 million litres of untreated liquid waste to this system on a daily basis.
“We have turned Gangua Nala from a freshwater stream into a drainage system. Currently, this stream bears the burden of domestic and industrial waste from the Capital. We need to stop this dumping of untreated waste to the Nala and protect the stream and its ecosystem,” said Ranjan K Panda, also known as the Waterman of Orissa.
According to sources, the 35.7km long Gangua Nala discharges approximately 652 cusecs of water into River Daya. Scientists confirmed that discharge of waste into Gangua is affecting the quality of the river. “We have served notice on the state government in this respect,” said BN Bhol, environmental scientist with the Orissa state pollution control board.
In fact, in 2015, the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), a Central government entity for treatment of waste water, was asked by the state government to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) to treat water of Gangua Nala using the ‘‘phytorid’’ method — a low-cost technology that involves a constructed wetland exclusively designed for treatment of municipal, urban, agricultural and industrial wastewater. NEERI also was known to have worked out a plan to give training to officials of the Orissa Water Supply and Sewerage Board (OWSSB) for implementation of the project. But, top officials of OWSSB are not aware of this. “We have not handled any project related to Gangua,” confirmed MR Dash, member secretary, OWSSB, MR Dash.
Top officials of the Water Resources Department (WRD) claimed that some proposals have been made to clean Gangua. But, nothing has been finalised. They are under consideration,” said P Nayak, engineer-in-chief, WRD.
Environmentalists opined that a delay in coming up with a concrete project to save the river would affect even Chilika Lake. “We have to come up with a project to save Gangua Nala from pollution. The issue is being kept dragging. Any further delay could affect even Chilika since the polluted water from Gangua Nala will reach Daya and through Daya it will end up in Chilika,” said Sunder Narayan Patro, eminent environmentalist and president of Orissa Environmental Society.
Jose K Joseph, OP