Mains Paper 3: Environmental Pollution
The following things are important from UPSC perspective:
Prelims: CPCB, BOD.
Mains: Nothing much.
- The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has relaxed standards for upcoming sewage treatment plants (STP), including those to come up on extremely polluted stretches of the Ganga.
- It is part of the government’s ₹20,000 crore push to clean the river was a 2015-proposal to have higher standards for STPs.
- The government earlier hsd planned that the biochemical oxygen demand (Bod) — a marker for organic pollutants — in the treated water had to be no more than 10 mg/litre.
- Existing laws permit BoD up to 30 mg/litre.
- But a recent notification by Union Environment Ministry says that STPs coming up after June 2019 except in major State capitals and metropolitan cities need only conform to 30 mg/litre of BoD.
- New STPs in State capitals, however, have to cap BoD at 20 mg/litre.
- The 10 mg criteria was impractical and required advanced technology that was too costly for most States.
- The recent notification is a step forward because now we also have standards for faecal coliform, which has never been part of our standards.