Large quantity of untreated sewage is entering sea from Versova creek, claims NGO | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Large quantity of untreated sewage is entering sea from Versova creek, claims NGO

A city-based NGO has filed a complaint with the state pollution control board and the civic body alleging high pollution levels along the Versova coastline, and large quantities of sewage being deposited from the Versova creek into the sea with the help of satellite images.

mumbai Updated: Oct 01, 2016 23:45 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Versova coastline
While MPCB officials said that they had taken cognisance of the complaint and were investigating the matter, civic body officials rubbished the allegations.(HT file photo)

A city-based NGO has filed a complaint with the state pollution control board and the civic body alleging high pollution levels along the Versova coastline, and large quantities of sewage being deposited from the Versova creek into the sea with the help of satellite images.

The complaint comes a day before representatives from the United Nations, including the executive director of UN Environment Programme, Erik Solheim, will join the Versova residents for a beach cleanup near the creek.

Citing water quality data from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) website, NGO Watchdog Foundation said that the levels of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) – the concentration of oxygen required for aquatic life to survive – was at a minimum of 10 and maximum of 12 milligram per litre (mg/L).

According to the Central Pollution Control Board guidelines, a BOD level above 6 mg/L cannot sustain fish species and levels above 3 mg/L make the water unfit for human consumption.

“Untreated sewage and garbage is being dumped in all river systems that have turned into nullahs in the city. Owing to no treatment of effluents, the sewage is being deposited at sea,” said Godfrey Pimenta, trustee, Watchdog Foundation. “After acquiring recent satellite images (see pic), it can be clearly seen that a black patch of sewage water, along with plastic, is emptying out from the Versova creek along the coastline. The pollution control bodies need to take immediate action to resolve this crisis.”

While MPCB officials said that they had taken cognisance of the complaint and were investigating the matter, civic body officials rubbished the allegations.

“We are meeting all norms as per CPCB and MPCB standards at the Versova creek and shoreline,” said a senior official from sewage projects department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. “The Versova creek end has aerated lagoons that naturally purify the water entering the sea and we carry out secondary treatment at the site to remove sludge.”

Members from the Versova Residents’ Volunteers (VRV) who have been carrying out regular beach cleanups for the last 51 weeks said that there are nine nullahs that deposit sewage along the Versova coastline. “Sewage and plastic is deposited right from the Malad creek that runs all the way up to Versova without any effluent treatment carried out by the civic body. From the second week of October onwards, we will be cleaning up each of the nine nullahs to stop pollution from the source,” said Afroz Shah, founder, VRV.

BOX

Why should you care?

Common benefits of sewage wastewater treatment include –

• Save money by recycling wastewater for use at gardens, washrooms

• Improving water quality that can be used by animals for drinking purposes

• Limit the impact of wastage of water on the environment

• Reduction in impact on municipal sewage systems by installing a domestic treatment system

• Reduction in diseases that can be caused by sewage