A recent report from State Pollution Control Board on water quality of four rivers, Cauvery, Kabini, Lakshmanathirtha and Shimsha in old Mysuru region indicated alarming levels of fluoride, heavy metals and coliforms making it unfit for consumption. As long as open defecation, which is still in practice especially in rural areas, exists it is difficult to curtail the load of coliforms and associated microbes in river waters. Absence or inefficient sewage treatment plants in these areas increases the microbial load further. The levels of heavy metals and other toxic chemicals remain high as indicated in the report, as many of the industrialists of the manufacturing industry located on the banks of these rivers are not serious about treating their discharges to remove harmful and other effluents to below permissible levels. These pollutants may not be limited to these rivers. The orders issued by the Additional Regional Commissioner to provide treated water to the public may help to certain extent to reduce the intensity. However, it is not addressing about strict measures that are to be taken to address the issue at source itself. Government and local bodies should not allow pumping of the industrial effluents into the adjacent rivers or canals. Until then the pollution levels keep increasing in the future also.
Dr S V N Vijayendra, Mysuru