MPCB adds more water sampling spots in polluted Ulhas river
After numerous complaints about pollution in the Ulhas river and the poor water quality monitoring by activists and non-governmental organisations, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has decided to introduce additional sampling locations.
Earlier, MPCB monitored water collected from four spots — Kalyan creek near Durgardi bridge in Kalyan (West), Jambul stream, Badlapur and NRC bund.
In addition to this, samples will be collected from the spot before the Ulhas river flows into Barvi dam, spot after the river merges with the dam water, Barvi dam road in Badlapur below the Ulhas river bridge, Ulhas river banks at Jambhale phata, Ulhas river bank at Dhone village and below Mohali bridge and Nevali village.
The water sampling is carried out in the first week of every month.
“MPCB officials will collect samples from all these spots from February. The pollution board website shows that the water quality is good but actually it is not. Ulhas river is badly polluted and monitoring its water quality is one of the steps to curb pollution,” said Ravindra Lingayat, founder of Ulhas River Bachao Kruti Samiti.
Earlier in an RTI query by Lingayat, it was revealed that the MPCB does not maintain a field-visit notebook, a field data protocol or even a result sheet after sampling water from the Ulhas river.
As per guidelines by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for water monitoring, these three records are needed to monitor the water quality.
“The pollution control board should fill all the forms as they are crucial for monitoring. The forms will have details of the water samples collected. The RTI query reveals that the pollution board does not maintain any such records,” said Lingayat.
When the RTI plea asked MPCB to produce field visit notebooks for four sampling stations between January and November, the board replied that no such notebook was filled at the sampling stations. To another query for furnishing details of field data protocol form, the board replied no such form was filled. MPCB also revealed that no result sheet was maintained when the sample was sent for testing.
An official from MPCB, who did not wish to be named, said, “The decision to increase the sampling spots was taken in December. It will be implemented from next month.”