ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ahmedabad’s Impact on the Sabarmati River

The Sabarmati river water quality, upstream and downstream of Ahmedabad, is analysed to assess the impact of the city on the river water quality using monthly data from April 2011 to March 2017. The quality of river water when it enters the city is in keeping with prescribed norms, but the river is “dead” downstream. The impacts of water pollution caused by the city are borne by residents in the
peri-urban areas.

The earliest cities all over the world have developed along the banks of rivers, and Ahmedabad is one such city located along the Sabarmati river. In terms of environmental functions, rivers are the source of water needed for survival of living beings. At the same time, rivers transport polluting elements from cities. Urban areas are reported to have the most consistent and ubiquitous effects on degradation of river water quality (Glinska-Lewczuk et al 2016), industrial effluents and domestic sewage being the two major pollutants. The study of river water quality is assuming importance in the current context in India due to increasing economic growth as well as rising urbanisation. With economic growth, the demand by society to have better living conditions is gaining importance and governments are investing in infrastructure to treat pollution and improve environmental quality.

Mani (2014) explores the ecological consequences of economic growth, including the cost to society, ill health, income lost and increased economic vulnerability because of specific forms of environmental abuse (including air pollution, forest and pasture loss, degradation of croplands, and poor sanitation and water supply). The study estimates that in 2009, the cost of environmental degradation in India was about 3.75 trillion, equivalent to 5.7% of the gross domestic product (GDP). T N Ninan, as quoted in an article (Guha 2014), has also arrived at a similar conclusion. The report estimates that India is depleting its stock of natural resources at a rate that equals 4.9% of the GDP. It means that conventional monetary estimates of national income done by neglecting the impact on resources present a misleading picture of growth. There have been a few studies focusing on the river water quality across the country.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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