MoS Jal Shakti: Drinking water with high nitrate content causes blue baby syndrome


The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), in collaboration with Pollution Control Boards and Committees in various States and Union Territories (UTs), has been monitoring the water quality of rivers and other bodies of water throughout the country via a network of monitoring stations as part of the National Water Quality Monitoring Programme.

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Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Jal Shakti and Food Processing Industries, stated in a written reply to the Lok Sabha on Thursday that “Drinking water with a ‘Nitrate’ concentration greater than the permissible limit of 45 mg/l, as specified in the BIS Drinking Water Specification, causes methemoglobinemia, more commonly referred to as blue baby syndrome.” Additionally, a higher Nitrate concentration results in decreased blood pressure, increased heart rate, headaches, stomach cramps, and vomiting.”
Additionally, the minister stated that river cleaning and rejuvenation are ongoing activities.

To prevent and control pollution, it is the responsibility of States/UTs and local governments to ensure that sewage and industrial effluents are treated according to prescribed standards prior to discharge into rivers and other bodies of water, coastal waters, or land.

“For conservation of rivers, the Ministry has been supplementing efforts of the States/UTs by providing financial and technical assistance for abatement of pollution in identified stretches of rivers in the country through the Central Sector Scheme of ‘NamamiGange’ for rivers in Ganga basin and the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) for other rivers,’ stated by Patel in the lower house of the Parliament.

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“NRCP has so far covered polluted stretches of 34 rivers in 77 towns spread across 16 states of the country at a cost of Rs 5965.90 crore, creating, among other things, a 2522.03 MLD sewage treatment capacity. A total of 346 projects, including 158 for sewage treatment capacity of 4948 MLD and a sewer network of 5213 km, have been sanctioned under the ‘Namami Gange programme’ at a cost of Rs 30235 crore,” he said.


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