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Industrial waste making groundwater toxic

india Updated: Sep 17, 2012 16:48 IST
Vinod Rajput
Vinod Rajput
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The dumping of industrial waste by manufacturing units in Greater Noida is posing a serious health hazard to residents and adding to groundwater pollution. Residents of several villages claim that chemical and other industries are dumping toxic waste without treating them.

Villages such as Bil Akbarpur, Sadopur, Acchesa, Kheda Dhrampura and Bisnoli are among the worst sufferers. The villagers claim that the water they drink is highly polluted, causing several life-threatening diseases.

According to pollution norms, industries should dump toxic substances only after detoxing them. Besides, industrial waste should not be dumped in the open.
After local authorities did not pay heed to their repeated complaints, the villagers on Saturday wrote to central and state pollution control boards, the National Human Rights Commission and UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in this regard.

“Gautam Budh Nagar district pollution control board did not address our several complaints in the past. Therefore, we have written to the central and state-level authorities on this issue. Villagers’ basic right to clean drinking water is infringed upon by these industries’ bad practices,” said Vikrant Tongad, a local environmentalist.

People are falling ill frequently due to ‘toxic’ groundwater. “In the past five years 29 people have died of cancer in our village. We suspect that highly polluted water is the main reason behind the rise in number of cancer patients,” said Arun Baisoya, a law student from Sadopur village.
“The regular use of polluted groundwater may cause cancer. Heavy metals and pesticides induce nutrition that causes the deadly disease,” said Dr Gagan Saini, senior oncologist, Fortis Hospital, Noida.

Residents of other villages have echoed similar views. “Some industrial units, which deal in chemical and detergent powder, dump their waste directly into ground through borewell, without treating it. As a result the groundwater in the village has become toxic,” said Omkar Singh of Bil Akbarpur.
Local authorities disagree with residents. “We had inspected several industrial units in May. Most of them have required sewage treatment plant (STP) and air pollution control system in place. They dump their waste after proper treatment,” said Parasnath, regional manager of district pollution control board in an RTI reply. The RTI application was filed by Vikrant Tongad.

“Villagers have complained about effluent being dumped into ground. We will inspect industrial units along with the media and take appropriate action if any unit is found flouting norms,” said Rajesh Yadav, sub-divisional magistrate, Greater Noida.

On the allegation that local pollution board officials in connivance with industrial units let the waste dump into ground, Parasnath said, “Several units installed all required system five months back after residents’ complaints. If any company is dumping their waste unscientifically, we will look into it.”