Bhopal: With an aim to keep Narmada pollution-free, the Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) in Madhya Pradesh, has decided to undertake the novel Bio-Health Monitoring programme to identify pollutants in the river and keep it healthy by introducing the 'Benthic Invertebrates' concept.

"This concept is based on the age-old practice of 'Benthic Invertebrate Population' which was earlier found in plenty in healthy rivers, but these days due to growing pollution, it has become a rare thing," NVDA Vice Chairman O P Rawat said on Friday.

MP is the first state in the country to introduce this natural way of keeping rivers healthy, he said.

Benthic Invertebrates are those species which eats and converts pollutants present in the rivers into a healthy food for fishes and other aquatic animals, thus helping to keep the river healthy in a natural manner, he explained.

After conducting bio-analysis of the pollutants present in Narmada river, efforts would be made to revive the Benthic Invertebrate population in the river specially at the troubled spots for keeping the river healthy, Rawat said.

The Bio-Health Monitoring system has been developed on the lines of researches and studies made on health of rivers in Canada, Australia, France, USA and other countries by setting up on-the-spot lab studies, he said.

A similar system will be introduced in Narmada river and as per preliminary estimates, Rs 100 crore will be spent on the monitoring project, Rawat added.

He claimed that this is a more viable and natural programme for keeping rivers healthy for ages as compared to the big-budgets schemes introduced for Ganga and other rivers.

Under the proposed system, study centres will be set up right from the origin of Narmada River, Amarkantak to the Madhya Pradesh border.

At these centres, invertebrates called Benthons will be studied. Benthons cannot withstand pollution and their ample presence in water is index of its good quality, the sources said.

Besides study of benthons under the Bio-Health Monitoring System, bio-mapping of Narmada River will also be undertaken on the basis of other researches and studies, they said adding efforts will be made to maintain quality of water on the basis of bio-mapping.

Side by side, modern techniques will also be made available to the local administration of districts along the banks of Narmada River for purification of filthy effluents from cities and habitats.

Wherever a fall in health indices is noticed during Bio Health Monitoring, process of water treatment will be set in motion after detecting its sources, they added.

Services of experts in the area of bio-health monitoring system too will be taken for providing adequate training to those involved in the project.