karuwaki logo


June 5, 2020, 9:24 p.m. by DR Aparajit Narayan ( 556 views)

Share via WhatsApp



Water is vital for all forms of life. Although it provides no calories or organic nutrients, water plays a crucial role in our world. It is the centre piece of all life."We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.” — Jacques Yves Cousteau!

The theme for World Environment Day 2020 is, 'Time for Nature,' with a focus on its role in providing the essential infrastructure that supports life on Earth and human development. "Recent events, from bushfires in Brazil, the United States, and Australia to locust swarms destroying crops across East Africa& spreading to Asia, a global disease pandemic which has changed the way we have thought& lived. This pandemic will be controlled eventually by the technology of medications and vaccines, but the lessons we have learned should help us build a powerful future across industries. Climate disasters are on the rise. Around 70 percent of disasters are now climate-related – up from around 50 percent from two decades ago. These disasters take a humongous human toll & we have paid a heavy price for repeatedly tampering with nature.



The state pollution control board of Orissa monitors the water pollution in different places and has released the data for two major rivers,namely Mahanadi& Brahmani. Mahanadi River, arising in central India,in the hills of southeastern Chhattisgarh meanders into Orissa.The Mahanadi follows a total course of 560 miles and has an estimated drainage area of 51,000 square miles.The Brahmani is a major seasonal river in the Odisha state of Eastern India. The Brahmani is formed by the confluence of the Sankh and South Koel rivers, and flows through the districts of Sundargarh, Deogarh, Angul, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Jajapur and Kendrapara.



The discharge of municipal sewage, industrial effluents and biomedical waste into the Mahanadi & Brahmani are the major cause of water pollution. Release of drain water directly into Daya river, waste water coming out of Choudwar released into Birupa River and Cuttack’s drain water is polluting the Kathajodi River.Industrial effluents, discharge of domestic waste, excessive use of pesticides & fertilizers in agricultural fields are a major source of contamination in Angul,Sundergarh & Rourkela.

However with the recent decrease in commercial and industrial human activity given the Coronavirus lockdown, the river systems of Orissa seem to have had a respite. Statistics collected by State Pollution Control Board indicate that the BOD or Biological Oxygen Demand levels have significantly reduced at several key monitoring stations. The BOD metric indicates the level of organic and sewage affluent present in the water, typically levels above 5 are indicative of moderate-heavy pollution levels.

The especially drastic reductions at the Rourkela, Vadimula and Palasuni monitoring points can be attributed to reduction in human-caused pollution. The lock down was indeed a difficult time for one and all. Its socioeconomic impact will be studied for years to come. However, it has given humanity an opportunity to reflect on the viability of existing infrastructure and industrial processes. It has shown that given the use of practical alternatives with regard to air and water affluent discharge a marked difference can be brought about within a short time span. We can only hope that this much-needed healing time for nature was enough to sustain the resumption of large scale human activity till alternative processes are brought about.



-DR Aparajit Narayan


Comments (2)

AnonymousUser 7 months ago
So true!
AnonymousUser 4 months ago
Nice article.