Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has stopped operations at 25 chemical plants in the Lote estate of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) near Khed for contaminating Boraje dam reservoir that supplies drinking water to nearby towns and villages.
In last week of December 2009, chemical discharge from industrial units contaminated the water in the dam. As a result, supply to Khed, 218 km from Mumbai off the Goa-highway, and to 13 neighbouring villages had to be stopped and marine life perished.
An MPCB officer said the dam water would not be fit for consumption for another year. “In the meantime, we will purify the water and make it potable.” Supply to the entire Khed town comes from Boraje dam.
“Closure directions have been issued to eight units and some more are being served,” Environment Secretary Valsa Nair told Hindustan Times on Tuesday.
An officer with MIDC requesting anonymity said that some units were reluctant to follow orders. “But then MPCB officers visited the Lote industrial estate on Monday and Tuesday and ensured that the plants were shut down.”
MPCB officials took action following complaints from local residents and located the source of discharge in the Lote estate. They were however unable to trace the unit, which released untreated chemicals into the dam. The officials will completely seal 25 of the 60 units in the estate. The rest have been asked to update their affluent treatment plants.
Till then, Khed and the village will be supplied from alternative water source.