Preservation of Rivers and Ponds

Restoration / Remediation of Rivers

Nripendra Sarma
Started by Nripendra Sarma on
20 Jun 2014 at 07:05
PHED, Government of Assam, India
Know-how: Wetlands

Dear All,

In Assam, the North Eastern State of India, the necessary approach for conservation of water resources appears to be a neglected issue. Indiscriminate dumping of waste materials and release of wastewater (untreated) into different water bodies is a most common approach causing large-scale pollution leading to environmental degradation. As a result, the water ecosystem has become critically vulnerable to negative impacts of degradation from different unprotected natural as well as anthropogenic activities and few rivers in Assam (India), once pristine, are now turning into dead rivers due to large-scale negligence.  The river ‘Bharalu’ and ‘Bahini’ meandering through Guwahati city, River ‘Kolong’ in Nagaon District, River ‘Bega’ in Mangaldoi Town and many more have now become dead rivers and in some locations, people cannot even stand on the river banks due to the foul odour.

The ills plaguing such Rivers and different wetlands are many. Large-scale encroachment, heavy siltation from storm water drainage, dumping / deposition / accumulation of solid wastes (even toxic), industrial discharges, etc., have literally turned these rivers into sewers.

Keeping in view the above, the time has come to address these issues. Even the public outcry is also already started demanding that needful action be taken in this regard. We are seeking necessary inputs and advice for sensitization / building awareness among urban and rural communities and other stakeholders for the development of a result-oriented action plan aimed at restoring the above rivers flowing through Assam.

In this context, I request for experience sharing related to the following:

  • What are the possible remediation options for reviving / restoring such rivers? What should be the monitoring and surveillance activities for targeting both point and non-point sources of pollution?
  • Are there any frameworks that have been developed for bottleneck analysis for addressing environmental needs to safeguard rivers?
  • Are there any success stories of result-oriented action plans that have been developed / implemented, which are aimed at restoring rivers, with special emphasis on risk management / protective framework keeping in view of the increasing threat to the Health of the water bodies.

Thanks and Regards.

Nripendra Kumar Sarma

Nagaon, Assam, India 



Dear Mr. Sarma,

You can find an overview of different restoration projects in Europe and also the description of the the step by step guidance of restoration projects in the first two links. There is also a guideline to European policy document of restoration projects on the third link. Hope this is useful. Kindly join the moderated River Restoration group which I have started to discuss only the restoration projects around the world and about the various methods to be used and success stories.
Sabin Bisht
You have brought up a crucial issue Mr. Sarma. Do think that the pollution level can be reduced if the sewage treatment plants are increased and the factory removal are not thrown in rivers? As our govt is coming up with strong regulation in this regard.
Yogesh Agrawal
Dear Sharma, You may like to to read the file "Catchment areas and their preservation" in Group folder of this discussion "Rivers, ponds and their preservation" It will reply most of your questions. You may have supplementary questions, which i will welcome
Nripendra Sarma
Dear All,
Thanks to Bhaskar Mallimadugula, for sharing an important piece of information, which might be quite useful in this regard. But, a more detailed success story in this connection may perhaps give more insight into it's application oriented issues.
However, to start with, the following options may perhaps be initiated immediately. (a) To stop OPEN Defecation along the river banks. ( To demolish all sorts of sources of pollution along the Rivers, including the insanitary Toilets (which is more prevalnt along River Bharalu, Kolong etc. in Assam). ( To ensure necessary treatment to the wastewater outfalls into the Rivers. Untreated dischrgees from Industries / Drainage from residential areas should be taken care of before being led eventually to the Rivers. (c) To initiate massive Awareness Generation among the inhabitatnts in the River Banks and then necessary Capacity Building measures to enable them to own the responsibility to maintain a good water health in the Rivers. Simultaneous Monitoring and Course correction activities.
Thanking All.
Nripendra Kumar Sarma
Nagaon, Assam, India
Bhaskar Mallimadugula
Dear Mr Sarma

Actually stopping open defecation will not help in reducing water pollution, though it will help in reducing diseases, this is because merely collecting sewage and sending it to sewage treatment plants does not help. The technology available in 'modern' STPs does not remove nutrients, N and P, from sewage. So the nutrients will enter lakes and rivers, even after expensive treatment.

Even in USA people are asking for solutions to remove nutrients from water -
bob ted
Dear Sarma, are these real pictures of the site? I really feel pity for these beautiful Indian rivers. I was in India almost 6 months in Varanasi and I must say, these rivers are dying..
River restoration refers to a large variety of ecological, physical, spatial and management measures and practices. These are aimed at restoring the natural state and functioning of the river system in support of biodiversity, recreation, flood management and landscape development.
I feel, river restoration needs to be the large agenda for the government now. And i think this new government is going to bring some change. Whats your stake on this?
Nripendra Sarma
Dear Bob ted,
These pictures are from different sections along the River Kolong meandering through Nagaon Town in Assam (India). The extensiveness of River Pollution is as such that many of them have already turned out to be just like swear line.
Hence such Remediation / Restoration is the prime need of the HOUR.
Thanks and Regards.
Nripendra Kumar Sarma
Bhaskar Mallimadugula
This solution may be useful

This is a bioremediation solution and fish will grow well when it is implemented, so the cost will be recovered from sale of fish.
papiha thomas
very informative
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