Subernarekha Pradushan Mukti Abhiyan

Subernarekha is an interstate river emanating from a place called Ranichua near Nagari about 15 kms southwest of Ranchi and after traversing a distance of 269 km in Jharkhand and 126 km in Orissa merges with sea in the Bay of Bengal. It is the only major river of Jharkhand which originates from Jharkhand and merges into sea directly having an independent basin, though small. Saryu Roy is requesting the State Govt. to bestow honour upon it and declare it Subernarekha the state river. Due to his sole effort. The origin point of Subernarekha has already been declared a tourist place by the State Govt.

The Subernarekha river is an interstate river flowing through the states of Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha. It originates from series of contact springs at a place called "Ranichua" near Nagari 15 Kms south-west of Ranchi city in Jharkhand at a height of about 720 ft. from mean sea level and outfalls into the Bay of Bengal in Odisha after travelling a distance of about 395 kms of which a distance of about 269 kms lies in Jharkhand. The river Kharkai originates from Simlipal forests of Odisha and merges into river Subernarekha at Jamshedpur. Its total length is about 166 kms out of which about 98 kms lies in Jharkhand and rest in Odissa.

The river Subernarekha including that of kharkai drains a total catchment of 18,951 Sq. Km out of which an area of 12,798 Sq. Km lies in Jharkhand. The river Kharkai drains a catchment area of 1912 Sq. Km in Orissa and 4206 Sq. Km in Jharkhand. The water availability of the Subernarekha-Kharkai basin at 75 per cent dependability was assessed by CWC as 42,00 LAF (5.18 Lham) and 3,00 LAF (0.37 Lham) was assumed to be the regeneration flow available from the supplies diverted by Jharkhand.

Several major industries lie in the vicinity of Subernarekha prominent among which are Usha Martin Ltd. at Tatisilwai and Hindalco at Muri in Ranchi district and Tata Steel Ltd. besides about a dozen units of Tata group of industries and copper plants of Hindustan Copper Ltd. at Ghatsila and Mau Bhadar. River Subernarekha is badly affected by the acute pollution of industrial actities.

River Subernarekha, literally meaning Line of Gold, is the largest river in Jharkhand which emerges in the state and directly merges into ocean thus, qualifies the parameter of the "State River of Jharkhand". Large number of industries including heavy ones are set up on the bank of Subernarekha. Two major townships Ranchi and Jamshedpur as well as a number of urban conglomerates and industrial estates have thrived on and around its banks. The river is reeling under acute civic and industrial pollutions causing immense danger to its water wealth, aquatic world as well as citizenry.

In this background, we took up the task to control and get the river free from the heavy load of civic and industrial pollution. It started a study cum awareness expedition from the origin point of the river up to its last point in Jharkhand before merging into sea. The journey began on 3rd June, 2006 under the banner of "Subernarekha Pradushan Mukti Abhiyan" and culminated on 5thJune, 2006 on the eve of the World Environment Day. On this occasion a seminar was organised in the Jamshedpur chamber of commerce and industries hall in which experiences of the Subernarekha study cum awareness yatra was shared with the people.

In the year 2006 Saryu Roy raised the problem of pollution of river Subernarekha waters due to economic activities on its bank and undertook a study cum awareness march from its origin point to its last point at the boarder of Jharkhand in the Baharagora block of East Singhbhum district. The study cum awareness tour was accompanied with a team of qualified scientists and environmental experts of national and international fame such as Prof. R K Sinha, better acknowledged globally as the Dolphin man, Dr. Gopal Sharma, at present Regional in hare of ZSI, Govt. of India, Prof M K Jamuar of deptt. of Environment, Ranchi University and Dr. K K Sharma, HoD, Zoology deptt., Cooperative college, Jamshedpur.

A mobile environmental laboratory also accompanied with the tour and the scientists and the experts associated with the tour tested the load of civic and industrial pollution at relevant points across the length and breadth of the river. The team of experts also collected the samples of water, sediments and aquatic flora & fauna at different points. These samples were later tested in Qualified laboratory by Yugantar Bharati management. On the basis of the test results assessment of different types of pollutants including heavy elements and hazardous wastes were made by the expert team. Since then every year on 14th January on the eve of Makar Sankranti, Subernarekha Mahotsav is organized by the people on the bank of the river at about half a dozen places.

Since then every year samples of water, sediment,flora and fauna are collected from fixed points in Subernarekha and are tested and analysed in the environmental analytical laboratory of Yugantar Bharati run by School of Ecology and Environmental Management (SEEM). The concerned govt. departments and other institutions are made aware with the results of the analysis. Yugantar Bharati promptly intervenes whenever it gets any information about the unlawful industrial affluents discharges in the river by industries.