Wednesday November 13, 2019
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Survey: Gomti River Dips to Dangerous Levels, Can No Longer Sustain Aquatic Life

The river's toxicity is so high in places, like Kudiya Ghat, that bubbles are created by emission of harmful gases like methane on the surface

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gomti
The river's toxicity is so high in places, like Kudiya Ghat, that bubbles are created by emission of harmful gases like methane on the surface. Wikimedia Commons

The carpet of water hyacinth over the Gomti River in Lucknow may present a bewitching sight but it also hides the threat to aquatic life that lies in the waters below. A survey carried out by a team of environmentalists has found that the dissolved oxygen (DO) in the Gomti river has dipped to dangerous levels and can no longer sustain aquatic life.

The DO level should be at least 8.5 mg/litre to make river water fit for human consumption while a drop below 5 mg /litre makes it unfit for flora and fauna. The DO level of Gomti river water has gone down to 0.5 mg/litre.

According to the study conducted by Professor Venkatesh Dutta and his team, this explains why only eight of the 51 species of fishes are left in the river. Barring water hyacinth, no other plant species have survived the onslaught of pollution.

Prof Dutta is an Environmental Management Specialist with specialization in Water Resources Management. His main research interests involve water quality assessment, groundwater contamination and eco-hydrology.

gomti river
This time, the problem has been compounded by the fact that 23 of the 26 tributaries of Gomti are running dry. Wikimedia Commons

His findings are similar to those of the Uttar Pradesh Solid Waste Management and Monitoring Committee, a panel constituted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which on Monday, advised people against bathing or even boating in Gomti.

“The DO level was 5 mg/litre only between Ghaila and Gaughat in the upstream. Thereafter, the water was found to be increasingly poor in quality due to untreated discharge from sewers and drains. The stretch near Shaheed Smarak, Shani Mandir Ghat and Kudiya Ghat is the most polluted, with the DO level being as low as 0.6 mg/litre, 0.5 mg/litre and 0.8 mg/litre, respectively,” said Dutta.

The river’s toxicity is so high in places, like Kudiya Ghat, that bubbles are created by emission of harmful gases like methane on the surface. According to the study, of 675 million litres per day (MLD) of sewage produced in Lucknow, only 396 MLD is treated in treatment plants while the rest flows into the river through 33 big sewers.

As many as 180 small drains also discharge factory effluents and solid waste into the river. The situation is worse every summer when the water level is low. This time, the problem has been compounded by the fact that 23 of the 26 tributaries of Gomti are running dry.

gomti river
The concrete riverfront has further deteriorated the water quality as it has done away with the natural clay and mud banks that acted like filters. Wikimedia Commons

At present, the water level in the river is around 351.6 feet against a normal of 356 feet. The concrete riverfront has further deteriorated the water quality as it has done away with the natural clay and mud banks that acted like filters.

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Professor Dhruvsen Singh of the geology department in the Lucknow University corroborated the study said: “Domestic and industrial wastes are polluting the river. They are also depositing fine sediments that are contaminated. Gomti is a groundwater-fed river and it is not being able to recharge itself.”

Prof Singh said the solutions included treating sewage and effluents before discharge, dredging and removal of silt from the riverbed, maintaining the flow through recharge pits and making tributaries pollution-free so that they keep adding fresh water to the river. Gomti originates from the Gomat Taal in Pilibhit and travels through 960 kilometers to merge into the Ganga near Saidpur in Varanasi. (IANS)

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Indian Cities Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru face Majority of Cyber Attacks

As the digital footprint of India increases through capital intensive projects, hackers are targeting data and large scale disruption like never before

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Cyber Attacks
Smart cities, financial services and transportation sectors lead the rankings in terms of Cyber Attacks. Pixabay

 There has been a 26 per cent increase in Cyber Attacks in India and Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru together accounted for roughly 38 per cent of all attacks in the July-September period, a new report said on Wednesday.

The report prepared by Bengaluru-headquartered telecom solutions provider Subex identified over 3,500 modular malware samples in the country, registering a whopping 37 per cent increase.

Smart cities, financial services and transportation sectors lead the rankings in terms of cyber attacks, said the “State of Internet of Things (IoT) Security Report” for the third quarter (July-September period).

“As the digital footprint of India increases through capital intensive projects, hackers are targeting data and large scale disruption like never before,” said said Vinod Kumar, Managing Director and CEO, Subex.

“The increase in cyber attacks against the country and the strong geopolitical correlation indicate high levels of interest in targeting our critical infrastructure. Hackers are working to improve their ability to monetize cyber attacks,” he warned.

Malware of varying degrees of sophistication are being reported from a variety of deployments, including new projects surrounding renewable energy.

Most malware detected (36 per cent) could be traced to sources on the Dark Web while as much as 14 per cent of malware couldn’t be traced to a known source pointing to the arrival of new actors and malware shops on the scene,” the findings showed.

Cyber Attacks
There has been a 26 per cent increase in Cyber Attacks in India and Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru together accounted for roughly 38 per cent of all attacks in the July-September period. Pixabay

The detection of malware connected with critical infrastructure projects has also registered an increase.

“This implies that hackers are targeting large scale disruption and are working to increase the cost associated with managing such projects as also negatively impact future investments in them,” the report added.

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Independent hackers are increasingly feeling the need to monetize cyber attacks as the unit cost of malware has risen in the last quarter. Further, it is becoming increasingly difficult to source high-grade malware from multiple sources due to various factors, the report added. (IANS)