Mumbai’s ‘blue dogs’: Company gets show-cause notice for releasing dye into water, air

The company not only discharges dye into the river without treating it first, but also releases residual dye powder into the air, said Maharashtra officials
Thane SPCA members rounding up the dogs for treatment.(HT)
Thane SPCA members rounding up the dogs for treatment.(HT)
Updated on Aug 18, 2017 10:08 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

Five days after HT reported that untreated industrial waste dumped into the Kasadi river in Taloja was turning dogs blue, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has taken action against the firm releasing dye into the water. The company has been warned of a shutdown if they do not adhere to pollution norms within 15 days.

The firm, located near the common effluent treatment plant (CETP) in Navi Mumbai, uses blue dye to manufacture detergents. Stray dogs often wade into the river for food and emerge with bright blue fur.

The company not only discharges dye into the river without treating it first, but also releases residual dye powder into the air, said MPCB officials. “We have collected photographic evidence. There is only one company in this area responsible for these violations,” said Jayant Hajare, sub-regional officer, MPCB.

He said the firm has violated norms under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

“The firm does not have adequate air or water pollution monitoring equipment. This has lead to the emission and discharge of pollutants,” said Hajare. “A complete report has been submitted to our head office and a hearing with the private company is likely to take place within the next fortnight. If they do not make adequate efforts to control pollution, we will shut them down,” he added.

One of five blue dogs spotted in the area last week. (HT)
One of five blue dogs spotted in the area last week. (HT)

Officials from the firm said a technical team was monitoring the situation at the site. “We have installed a temporary gate to prevent strays from entering the river. We will adhere to MPCB’s instructions within a week,” said an official from the company.

The Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell, which took photos of the blue dogs to raise awareness, asked the TSPCA animal hospital to help them save the canines. “We have been conducting awareness drives in the area so people realise how dogs and other animals are affected by the chemical pollution,” said Arati Chauhan, a Navi Mumbai resident who runs the cell. “Most of the dogs from the area have been treated. The powered dye has also turned a few sparrows blue,” she added.

TSPCA veterinarians said one dog underwent blood test. “The infection must have been local and has died down. The blood reports suggest the dogs are healthy,” said Shakuntala Majumdar, president, TSPCA. “The blue colour is water soluble so we expect the rain to wash it away, but we do not know what internal damage the dogs have sustained,” she said.


    Badri Chatterjee is an environment correspondent at Hindustan Times, Mumbai. He writes about environment issues - air, water and noise pollution, climate change - weather, wildlife - forests, marine and mangrove conservation

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