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Scientific Initiative of Narmada River Health Security in Madhya Pradesh, first of its kind in India

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By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: A first of its kind scientific initiative in the country is going to be made in Madhya Pradesh for ensuring health security of Narmada River.

Under the initiative, bio analysis of Narmada water will be made besides conducting a study of the standard physical and chemical reactions, which are necessary to keep the river water free from pollution. The speciality of the project being chalked out by Narmada Valley Development Authority for ensuring the health of Narmada River is that apart from external causes of pollution, it will ensure standard norms of health of water by undertaking bio research of water and paying attention to physical and chemical reactions in it.

This concept of Narmada's health security has been given the name of "Narmada Bio Health Monitoring". Pro-pounder of this concept and Vice-Chairman of Narmada Valley Development Authority Mr. O.P. Rawat informed that desirable results have not been yielded by big-budget pollution-control programmes introduced in Ganga and other major rivers of the country. Keeping this in view, "Narmada Bio Health Monitoring" system has been developed on the lines of researches and studies made on health of rivers in Canada, Australia, France and other countries. He informed that a system based on spot and lab studies and monitoring of rivers' health has been developed in these countries. Almost similar system will be introduced in Narmada River.

Under the proposed system, study centres will be set up right from the originating place of Narmada River up to Madhya Pradesh border. At these centres, invertebrates called Benthos will be studied. Benthos found in water indicate integrated effect of pollution. Benthos cannot withstand pollution and their ample presence in water is index of its good quality. Besides study of Benthos under the Bio Health Monitoring System, bio-mapping of Narmada River will also be undertaken on the basis of other researches and studies. Efforts will be made to maintain quality of water on the basis of bio-mapping.

Side by side, modern techniques will be made available to the local administrations of the districts along the banks of Narmada River for purification of filthy effluents from cities and habitats. For this, appropriate financial assistance is also proposed to be made available from Narmada Valley Development Authority. If fall in health indices is noticed during Bio Health Monitoring, process of water treatment will be set in motion after detecting its sources.
Mr. Rawat informed that since it is first of own kind bio health monitoring system in the country; therefore, the competent agencies in this sphere of work will be first trained vis-à-vis nature of the work and then proposals will be invited from them. As per preliminary estimates, Rs. 100 crores will be spent on Narmada Bio Health Monitoring Project.

[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at]
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