Strengthening of Environmental Regulators (SER) Overview

This World Bank funded NGRBA project seeks to undertake demand-driven modernization of the environmental regulators at the State level as well as at the Centre, in specific Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to improve their capacity to support the NGRBA program. This project was sanctioned on 19th June, 2013 for an amount of Rs. 69.26 crores w.e.f. 19.06.2013 having project duration of 8 years.As the project was ended on 18.06.2021, a revised SER proposal was made and communicated to NMCG vide letter B-19116/WQM-II/ dated 27.05.2021, having estimated cost of Rs. 155.335 crore for five years. Reminder DO letter to NMCG sent on 09.07.2021 to confirm the continuation of the staff engaged under SER project and also to sanction the new SER project proposal at the earliest. Sanctioning of new SER project from NMCG is still awaited. However, vide letter dated 02.08.2021, NMCG has allowed the expenditure under manpower component under the erstwhile project till concurrence from World Bank is received.

The objectives of SER project includes enhanced water quality monitoring by implementing a manual water quality monitoring of River Ganga at 97 locations in five States viz. Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal under National Water Quality Monitoring Programme (NWMP) in association with State Pollution Control Boards to fulfil the mandate of Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 for water quality criteria parameters as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of CPCB, which stipulates only the parameters to be monitored. SPCBS are conducting monitoring as per guidelines for Water Quality Monitoring (GWQM, 2017). SPCBS are conducting monitoring as per guidelines for Water Quality Monitoring (GWQM, 2017).The water quality data is compared with the primary water quality criteria for outdoor bathing notified under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

Since September / October 2020, SPCBs have started carrying out detection of E coli and Faecal Streptococci (FS), due to which the number of parameters increased from 63 to 65. Now, water samples are analysed for 07 field parameters, 11 core parameters, 19 general parameters, 09 trace metals & 01 toxic substance, 03 biomonitoring and set of pesticides (15 parameters). The above mentioned field parameters, core parameters and general parameters are being analysed on fortnightly basis, trace metals and pesticides on bi-annual basis and bio-monitoring on annual/seasonal basis. The same is also finalized with NMCG in various meetings.

In addition to above, this project covers laboratory development, civil works, development of IT infrastructures and capacity building/staffing.