HT Impact: Rights panel calls Rajaji director over polluted river water   | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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HT Impact: Rights panel calls Rajaji director over polluted river water  

The Uttarakhand Human Rights Commission has asked the Rajaji Tiger Reserve director to be present on May 30, taking suo moto cognizance of a Hindustan Times report on polluted river water in the national park

dehradun Updated: Jun 24, 2017 17:56 IST
Nihi Sharma
HT had reported that wild animals were drinking polluted water of Suswa river passing through the Rajaji reserve, home to more than 15 tigers.
HT had reported that wild animals were drinking polluted water of Suswa river passing through the Rajaji reserve, home to more than 15 tigers. (HT Photo)

The Uttarakhand Human Rights Commission has asked the Rajaji Tiger Reserve director to be present on May 30, taking suo moto cognizance of a Hindustan Times report on polluted river water in the national park.

The report, ‘In Rajaji reserve, animals drinking polluted water: NGO’, was published on April 16.

Based on the findings of the Society of Pollution and Environmental Conservation Scientists (SPECS), HT reported that wild animals were drinking polluted water of Suswa river passing through the Rajaji reserve, home to more than 15 tigers.

Clinical tests on river water samples showed presence of high-level fecal coliform and other toxic materials that are life threatening for wild species.

“Human Rights Commission has taken suo moto cognizance of HT’s report on Suswa river. They have asked me to be present on May 30,” Rajaji director Sanatan Sonkar told HT.

Participating in a drive to clean up Suswa river recently, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat sprinkled a special biochemical to clear the garbage. But nothing has been done to stop entry of solid and liquid waste in the river, which passes through Dehradun and enters the reserve.

The Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB) had also taken samples and found high-level pollution in the river water. Reports have been sent to the government, but no action has been taken.

“The problem is that the government lacks a strategy to ensure disposal of solid waste. The habitations along the river in the capital are throwing all sort of waste into the river,” said Brij Mohan Sharma, secretary of the NGO.

The test results show that the river contains highly toxic metals, such as nitrate (388-453 mg/l), chloride (367-414 mg/l), fluoride (1.9-2.6 mg/l), iron (0.3-0.7 mg/l), chromium (0.34-0.38 mg/l), lead (0.40-0.54 mg/l), total coliform (1760-3800 MPN/100 ml), and fecal coliform (516-1460 MPN/100 ml). The presence of the toxic metals is more than the permissible limit.