The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pulled up the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) for not preparing comprehensive plan for establishing common effluent treatment plants (CETP) in the industrial hubs. The CAG, in a report tabled in the state assembly, has also raised concern over industrial units in some districts releasing polluted water into the river.
“It was observed that the Board did not prepare any comprehensive programme for establishing CETPs in areas where large number of small scale and medium scale industries were functioning without proper treatment of effluent. The RSPCB also did not prepare a policy for conducting periodical survey for identifying industries which were contributing to water pollution in the state,” the report read.
The state government has stated that identification of polluting units was a continuous process and new units were identified by the regional officers during their routine inspection. “The reply of the state government was not convincing as data and records relating to quality and volume of effluent discharged per day and steps taken to adopt better treatment option were not maintained by the board,” the report states.
The CAG report has singled out three districts — Alwar, Bikaner and Hanumangarh — where objective of prevention, control and abatement of water pollution suffered due to non-establishment of CETPs.
The Sanganer area in Jaipur is home to about 893 textile dyeing and printing units. In the absence of effluent treatment plants, industrial waste was being released continuously without treatment on open land causing deterioration in quality of ground water. “About 12.3 million litres of effluents per day were being discharged by these units on open land and in Dravyawati river without any treatment,” states the report.
The CAG has observed that apart from issuing notices, RSPCB had neither initiated any action against all such polluting units nor taken any concrete measure for setting up of CETPs by the polluting units in a timely manner.
The CAG also noted that treated water discharged by CETPs into Bandi river failed to achieve the outlet parameters thereby causing risk of deterioration in quality of river water. “RSPCB should initiate action against units, which regularly failed to achieve the prescribed parameters and should ensure that no treated water was released into the main stream unless prescribed standards were met. It should closely monitor the problem caused by excess discharge and overflow of effluent and take concrete action against defaulter units,” states the report.
The state government stated that RSPCB was continuously pursuing the CETP Trust to upgrade and retrofit the CETPs so that the treated effluent was able to meet the prescribed norms.