Blame game continues over Indrayani river pollution - Hindustan Times
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Blame game continues over Indrayani river pollution

ByVicky Pathare
Jan 07, 2024 06:52 AM IST

The PCMC blames the industries for polluting the environment and urges the MPCB to take action against them

Even as the citizens and environmentalists are crying foul over the pollution of the Indrayani river, despite the intervention of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, no authorities have taken concrete actions to avoid pollution. Rather than coming up with a preventive action plan, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) have been busy condemning one other.

Earlier in November a massive layer of toxic foam was observed on the sacred Indrayani river for a few days. (HT PHOTO)
Earlier in November a massive layer of toxic foam was observed on the sacred Indrayani river for a few days. (HT PHOTO)

The PCMC blames the industries for polluting the environment and urges the MPCB to take action against them. On the other hand, the MPCB alleges that untreated sewage from local bodies, released into the Indrayani river, is the main cause of pollution and demands that the civic body take stringent action against the violators. Unfortunately, none of the officials have taken any proactive measures to take stern action against the culprits.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday during a press briefing, said, “The MPCB officials should look into the Indrayani river pollution issue. I will ask the head of the Pollution Board to look into the issue.”

Earlier in November a massive layer of toxic foam was observed on the sacred Indrayani river for a few days. Following CM Shinde’s in the first week of December ordered inspection and action on the pollution issue. After which the officials from the MPCB and PCMC swung into action. Later on December 26, school education minister Deepak Kesarkar took a review of the Indrayani river and directed local authorities to take immediate action to prevent untreated sewage from flowing into the river and focus on sewage management. However, a couple of days back a massive layer of toxic foam was again observed on the Indrayani river.

Ravi Andhale, regional officer of MPCB, said, the main cause of pollution of Indrayani river is the mixing of treated, semi-treated and untreated domestic sewage from local bodies released into the Indrayani river through various drains.

“Directions have been issued by the Board from time to time to the local bodies to prepare a time-bound plan for the entire sewage treatment by operating, updating and setting up a new sewage treatment plant. Also, criminal cases have been filed against local bodies in the court of law.

He, further, said that several warehouses and units are operating in Jadhavwadi and Kudalwadi areas.

“They have waste materials like plastic, paper, rubber, tires, wires, wood, iron, aluminium, sheets/plastic pimps, etc., and the same material is cleaned and washed, and the untreated wastewater is discharged into the Indrayani river. The MPCB has taken action against a total of eight industries in the area. The PCMC has been directed to inspect the godowns and take further appropriate action,” he said.

Sanjay Kulkarni, head of the environment department at PCMC, said, the PCMC is treating all domestic water and no untreated domestic waste is discharged in the river.

“If the domestic waste is untreated and is discharged in the Indrayani river regularly, then why is the toxic foam not visible daily? This has nothing to do with domestic waste and the pollution is caused by the industrial unit. These units are also located outside PCMC jurisdiction. The MPCB can take action against these industrial units,” he said.

Minister Kesarkar directed all concerned local bodies to prepare a plan at the earliest to reduce pollution in the Indrayani river. The next meeting will be held in Mumbai to take review.

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