Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Amid concerns over rising pollution in water bodies, State Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh today, in reply to BJP MLA Mohan Majhi in Assembly, said that five major rivers in Odisha- Mahanadi, Shankha, Koel, Brahmani and Baitarani, have become polluted as they are fed with discharges from industries and urban local bodies.

As per the report tabled by Arukh in the Assembly, Mahanadi river water was found polluted at two places, Brahmani at four places, Baitarani at three places, while Koel and Shankha have become polluted at one place each due to release of wastes into the rivers.

Brahmani River, which is life line of over 50 lakh people, has been polluted due to discharge of domestic waste of Rourkela and in-flow of untreated water from various industries in the city. Similarly, wastewater discharge from Cuttack and Sambalpur has polluted Mahanadi in two different places.

Arukh's reports were based on the observation of the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) given after testing the nature and quality of river waters.

Following this, the BJP MLA questioned what precautionary steps Odisha government has undertaken to make river water pollution-free. Deep concerns were raised over the river waters turning polluted and poisonous, citing the current situation in Delhi.