Save River Tawi from unceasing pollution

We call it with reverence as ‘Surya Putri’ also, denoting emotional and cultural attachment with River Tawi and we simultaneously watch it being grossly polluted too, even most of the passersby from running vehicles over the busy Tawi Bridge throwing contents wrapped in polythene bags as a matter of according ‘respect’ to the discarded material but not knowing the cumulative damage being heaped on this river. Number of pollutants find their disposal in this river. Illegal and ruthless mining robbing it of its precious contents is another type of defiling of this river. The situation, instead of being addressed on priority by the Government, is allowed to get worsened as nothing of the sort is in sight in respect of Action Plan formulated by it in deference to the directions issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) last year to rid the river of pollution.
What is, after all, the main or the major cause of this river getting polluted to the levels as of now, is the sewage generated by Jammu city and which the NGT in its judgment of September 20, 2018 wanted the Government of Jammu and Kashmir to address. Not only River Tawi, but four more or five rivers in all in Jammu and four in Kashmir valley were identified as having vast stretches as pollutedby the Central Pollution Control Board based on the data furnished by the State Pollution Control Board. As much as 75 MLD sewage is getting into River Tawi all without treatment through a ‘network’ of 13 nullahs and main drains on its right and left sides. There should, therefore, have been some kind of progress on the Action Plan which is nowhere in sight and initiation in this regard by none of the agencies, as many agencies in unison are required to contribute towards implementation process, is indicative of treating the entire matter unimportant. In other words, should it be deduced that the inevitable for this River – to remain in the State of perpetual pollution for unspecified period, is imminent?
The other angle of the problem needs a serious attention which is about those few sewage plants supposed to be in working mode but being defunct except the one at Bhagwati Nagar and the entire load of treatment is on its two plants which means only a fraction of sewage is treated. The Action Plan, however, has it, that up gradation and repairs of Sewage Treatment Plants of 10 MLD capacity was Central to the exercise of making the River pollution free. 75 MLD sewage was generated from the city alone which calls for giving preferred attention to setting up of a few STPs while the ones existing needed necessary improvement and repairs. SBR technology was sought to be the basis of functioning of the STPs and the Urban Environmental Engineering Department (UEED) is reported to have floated tenders even under Languishing Projects Scheme but no response thereto calls for concerted review by concerned authorities to bring about the desired results. The entire structure proposed for the task needs to be made more active and performing as several months have just been seen going down the drain.
The Action Plan was destined to be fully implemented by the end of December 2019 which, with the dismal levels of the progress on the project, seems unlikely to be met. That unwanted position enjoins upon the concerned authorities to look into with all seriousness as except installation of sewer lines at four places in Jammu which again has run into rough weathers because of objections raised by Jammu Development Authority, no solid work has been done. The matter demands immediate attention in the interests of the River relieving it of the scar of pollution.