BENGALURU: Last month the National Green Tribunal (NGT) examined the contamination of the Bellandur, Agara and Varthur lakes on account of the inflow of sewage and found that not even a feeble attempt was made to stop it.
According to the water quality monitoring data maintained by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), not a single river in the state has drinkable water quality.
Even the Cauvery falls in ‘C’ category, which means that its water can only be used for drinking purposes after conventional treatment followed by disinfection.
The Lakshman Tirtha, Shimsa and Arkavathy rivers fall in D category with an unsatisfactory water quality index (WQI).
The water quality monitoring network is operated under two programmes: Global Environment Monitoring System (GEMS, 5 locations) and Monitoring of Indian National Aquatic Resources System (MINARS, 58 locations).
Water samples are analysed for 28 parameters, which include 9 core parameters, 19 physico-chemical and bacteriological parameters along with field observations. Eight trace metals and 15 pesticides are analysed once a year to assess water quality.
As per this system of monitoring, water bodies are categorized into five groups:
Class A: Drinking water source without conventional treatment but after disinfection.
Class B: Fit for outdoor bathing (organized)
Class C: Drinking water source with conventional treatment followed by disinfection.
Class D: Propagation of wildlife, fisheries
Class E: Irrigation, industrial cooling, controlled waste disposal...