State govt forms task force to reduce river pollution in city
According to instruction of the state government, the ‘Social Environment Surveillance Taskforce’ should prepare an action plan and work on its implementation in a time-bound manner.Updated: Jul 24, 2019 03:01 IST
The Maharashtra government has decided to set up a task force which will have the mandate to prepare a road map for reducing pollution levels of the seven rivers flowing through Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and the district.
According to instruction of the state government, the ‘Social Environment Surveillance Taskforce’ should prepare an action plan and work on its implementation in a time-bound manner. The task force should also find out the reasons behind river pollution in the city.
The task force to check river pollution will be headed by Dilip Khedkar, regional officer Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and will include officials from the district collectorate, Pune zilla parishad, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), police department and the Legal Services Authority.
“To work on river pollution, the state government has formulated a task force and it is expected that the task force submits a report within two months, following which we will reach out to the state government to implement the recommendations,” said Dilip Khedkar, regional officer MPCB Pune region.
The task force will also submit regular reports to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The task force is expected to give a detailed action plan, highlighting the role and responsibilities of all stakeholders regarding pollution of rivers in the city. Based on the results of the plan, the recommendations to minimise river pollution will be executed, Khedkar said.
The task force will use the data of river pollution, number of river polluting industries, number of sewage treatment plants (STP), river polluting agents from respective authority as the base to kick start the assessment of the pollution problem in the city rivers.
The CPCB has identified seven polluted river stretches in the city on which the task force should work on a priority basis.
Earlier in June, this newspaper had reported that the Mula-Mutha river, which flows along a 22-km stretch through Pune city is Maharashtra’s second-most polluted river as of 2018, containing human and animal excreta three times more than the safe limit.
Against the backdrop of this report, the state government appointed the task force.