Dr Preety Sinha heads the department of environmental science, AN College, Patna. In a career spanning more than two decades, Dr Sinha has as many as 33 of her research articles published in reputed national and international peer reviewed journals.
Dr Sinha has been conferred with many awards including a Gold Medallion from Congress of Zoology for outstanding contribution in Zoological researches. Speaking with Udipt Nidhi in an exclusive interview with The Tricky Scribe, Dr Preety tried to explain some of reasons behind the pollution of Ganga. Excerpts:
What are the reasons behind the pollution of Ganga?
Contamination and pollution is caused by a bunch of causes. Not one reason can be blamed for the same. Different rivers or same river at different places has unalike reasons for being polluted. If we talk of Ganga, it is polluted by the industrial waste dumped into the river in Kanpur. Pollution of Ganga cannot be attributed to industrial wastes in less industrialized cities like Patna.
Talking specifically about Patna, several factors including disposal of untreated urban waste, chemicals, idol immersion, corpse disposal as well as human and animal excreta contribute to the menace. There are around 29 sewage discharge channels between Patna City and Kurji which drain as much as 190 million litre wastes daily.
The spurt in urbanization since the early 90s has resulted in increased waste production as compared to the earlier records. The initiatives and awareness of Government organizations worked inadequately with destitution. The absence of proper planning and technology have exacerbated the situation
Tell us about the research work in progress?
We’ve been working on Toxicity, Pesticides, Florides and Phthalates. We conducted a research on Floride contents in Ismailpur region of Gaya District. We surveyed and collected soil samples only to find alarming levels of floride in the region. This highlights the deleterious impact of Floride on soil and thereby human health.
What are Phthalates? How does it work?
Phthalates are used widely in industries manufacturing plasticizers. Phthalates impart flexibility to the plastics. Plastics are made of polymers like polyethylene, polystyrene, etc. Phthalates are covalently bonded with the polymers, which on being dumped and exposed to temperature changes, reach out to the soil and water. We are likely to have a device called HPCL, sponsored by BHEL India, which can judge the quality of soil, water and tissues.