Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 171, Issue 1, pp 321-344

First online:

Environmental repercussions of cane-sugar industries on the Chhoti Gandak river basin, Ganga Plain, India

  • Vikram BhardwajAffiliated withCentre of Advanced Study in Geology, University of Lucknow Email author 
  • , Dhruv Sen SinghAffiliated withCentre of Advanced Study in Geology, University of Lucknow
  • , Abhay K. SinghAffiliated withCentral Institute of Mining and Fuel Research

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Chhoti Gandak river basin, situated in the Ganga Plain, is one of India’s most productive cane-sugar industrial belts. Soil and groundwater samples were collected to investigate the impacts of these industries on the environment of the Chhoti Gandak river basin with special reference to soil and water. The results show that concentration of most metals are affected by industrial activities and surrounding agricultural practices. It is evidenced by increased heavy metal concentration in the soils as well as in the aquifers. Metals such as Pb, Cu, and Zn in the soil around the industrial sets are found significantly higher than their normal values in the soil. Metals like Fe and Mn in the groundwater are more than the permissible limit prescribed by the World Health Organization. In this study, an attempt was made to distinguish between the naturally occurring and anthropogenically induced metals in the soil. Analysis of geochemical properties, disposal of industrial wastes, inadequate application of agrochemicals, and their impact on environment indicate the sustainable implementation of integrated wastewater management plan in these industrial sets and also in similar situations.


Cane-sugar industry Chhoti Gandak river Soil contamination Groundwater contamination Toxic metals Industrial pollution