GUWAHATI, July 8 - With experts and even the state government often red-flagging dam building activities in China which, they say, have led to contamination of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries, the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) has set in motion plans to monitor the quality of the red river on real-time basis on the lines of Ganga.
PCBA chairman in-charge AM Singh recently met the chief of the Central Pollution Control Board in Delhi where the issue was taken up. The CPCB has asked the state board to prepare a proposal.
�Like river Ganga, a Pollution Inventorization Assessment and Surveillance Project (PIAS) project is being prepared by us and it will be submitted to the CPCB which will fund it,� Singh told The Assam Tribune.
�Not much work or study has been done on the river till date. It will be a major step to assess the quality of water in Brahmaputra,� Singh said. Already, some 28 stretches of different rivers in the State has been identified as �polluted.�
Currently, manual monitoring is done in a little over 170 stations along the Brahmaputra and other rivers in the State.
Though the number of real-time monitoring stations has not been decided as yet, officials said focus would be on polluted stretches and major towns and cities on the river bank.
Till now, PCBA used to collect pollution data from various measurement stations manually, which was highly irregular. There are many drawbacks in the manual system - the sample of water collected on a specific day of the month, which was prone to be manipulated.
There are also delays in the data from the stations reaching the labs and then the headquarters. �Once, the real-time monitoring is in place, we can detect an unusual increase in pollution in the river instantly and then take immediate action,� he said.
The Central government had recently approved 38 new real-time quality monitoring stations for the Ganga basin. These will be in addition to the existing 36 stations in the river.
Meanwhile, a couple of more manual stations for air quality monitoring have been sanctioned by CPCB for Assam along with one more real-time air quality monitoring station in Guwahati.
Singh said the first real-time air quality monitoring station will come up within October with display of air quality standards at two prominent places in Guwahati.