Antibiotic pollution in Sirsa river flowing through Baddi pharma hub
Due to industrial waste being dumped into the Sirsa river that flows through Himachal Pradesh’s pharma hub of Baddi and Barotiwala, its water has a high content of ciprofloxacin class of drugs called quinolone antibiotics.
Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic used to treat a number of bacterial infections, including bone and joint infections, intra-abdominal infections, respiratory tract infections, skin infections, typhoid fever, and urinary tract infections.
The India Veterans Forum for Transparency in Public Life, an NGO that is a constituent of the Consortium for Common Cause (CCC), has conducted a first-of-its-kind study to find out the level of pollutants in the form of discharge of antibiotics in the river in Baddi.
To begin with, the discharge of ciprofloxacin was studied. The study, pioneered by wing commander BNP Singh (retd), showed that the level of ciprofloxacin downstream was extremely high and, in some instances, bordering on 1,500 times the basic safe limits meant for such discharge.
NGT directed state to study pollution in river
Armed with the findings, the forum filed a petition before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on June 24, 2020.
Hearing the matter, the NGT last year directed the authorities to constitute a task force and study the matter. As a result, the Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board (HPPCB) conducted followup tests and submitted its test reports to the NGT recently.
“The tests confirmed ciprofloxacin pollution in the river,” major Kunwar Suresh Rana, the forum organising secretary, said.
The board submitted its report to the state government besides the NGT. Studies found contents of ciprofloxacin and directions have been sought from the Central Pollution Control Board on the permissible limits.
Impact of toxic discharge on human life
The HPPCB test reports also conclude that though there are no standards available for this kind of pollution, there are draft recommendations and by going through them, it can be easily inferred that pollution found in the river is 1,500 times the acceptable norms.
In the absence of any standards for evaluating the impact of the highly toxic discharge on human life, it is difficult to ascertain the health problems being faced by the population using the river water downstream and the natural seepage of the toxins into the groundwater table.
Tibba police busted a honey-trap racket and arrested four persons, including two women, on Saturday. One of the members of the gang has yet to be caught, the police said. The FIR against them has been registered on the complaint of Nagendra Yadav of New Vijay Nagar. A fabric manufacturer, Yadav, told the police that he runs a factory near Puneet Nagar. On Friday evening, he was going to his factory on a scooter.
Bringing relief from the scorching heat, the thunderstorm witnessed in the city on Saturday evening turned the weather pleasant. Partly cloudy weather prevailed in the city since morning and rains, along with strong winds, brought down the mercury levels in the evening. As per the meteorological department, Chandigarh, the maximum temperature in the city was recorded at 40 degrees Celsius while the minimum was 27 degrees.
Division number 8 police have booked an employee of a jewellery shop for allegedly stealing items worth lakhs on Friday. Akash has been identified as Akash of Chaura Bazaar. The FIR has been registered following the statement of Lalit Chopra of Rishi Nagar. The complainant said that on Friday, they were present in the store and were attending to customers.
The joint co-coordinator of Kisan Congress, a wing of All India Congress Committee, has been booked for hurting religious sentiments by cleaning a statue of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi installed in a park in Salem Tabri with Gursimran Singh Mand's turban. The action against Gursimran Singh Mand has been taken around 10 months after the incident. Mand had reached the spot and cleaned the statue with his turban, which sparked a row.
The cybercrime wing of Punjab Police has issued an advisory to mobile phone users to be cautious of fraudsters who have found new ways to trap and dupe people. These fraudsters pose as officers and dupe people by sending them suspicious links on WhatsApp. Three such cases have been reported in Ludhiana in the past 45 days wherein fraudsters duped people by impersonating officials. The police have solved only one case till now.