‘Textile finishing dye turns Ulhas River water turquoise’

Indutrial discharge turn Ulhas river water turquoise with foam(Vanshakti)
Indutrial discharge turn Ulhas river water turquoise with foam(Vanshakti)
Updated on Jun 13, 2020 10:44 PM IST
Copy Link
By, Mumbai

Despite the Supreme Court (SC) being apprised of high pollution levels in Ulhas and Waldhuni rivers, untreated effluents continue to be discharged by industries in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). An inspection report submitted in SC by the environment group Vanashakti, on Friday showed pollutant discharge at the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) area at Sonarpada, Dombivli, had turned the river water turquoise (see image) with foam.

“Effluents are being discharged by industries at unauthorised locations entering stormwater drains and polluting a 1.5-km stretch of Ulhas. The violations are going unnoticed as there is the preferential treatment meted out to Dombivli MIDC textile and chemical industries,” said Stalin D, director, Vanashakti.

Following this, a complaint was filed with the state environment department and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) on Saturday. A stream passing through Dombivli was identified carrying effluents to the main channel, the complaint said.

The Friday’s inspection also revealed that untreated industrial effluent discharge into the Waldhuni river by Ambernath MIDC and Anand Nagar Additional MIDC where a section of the river turned black. This is the same area where MPCB had issued closure notices to seven firms earlier this year for violating water pollution norms. “The brazenness of the polluters, backed by active support from state agencies, has killed the Ulhas and Waldhuni rivers,” added Stalin.

MPCB said they initiated an investigation into the source of pollution. “On taking cognisance of the SC petitioner’s complaint, a team has been directed to undertake a site visit on Monday and submit a report on alleged violations. Necessary action will be taken based on the report,” said SL Waghmare, regional officer (Kalyan), MPCB.

In May, a section of Waldhuni river had turned red due to water pollution forcing MPCB to issue a 5 lakh penalty on the Badlapur wastewater treatment plant.

Ulhas and Waldhuni are among 53 of the most polluted rivers from Maharashtra, highest for any state among 351 most polluted rivers in India, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Ulhas supplies drinking water to over 30 lakh residents of the Badlapur-Thane belt.

MIDC officers said they identified a textile industry in the belt using finishing dyes, and had released its effluents in the river. “The frequency of violations have risen. Only essential industries are being allowed to function, and this industry is not one of them. We will ask MPCB to action against this industry for violating norms,” said Kalidas Bandekar, MIDC superintendent engineer for MMR.

Another Vanashakti member Nandkumar Pawar countered, “Despite repeated violations, there is mere lip service by authorities that action will be taken but nothing happens on the ground. Amid all this, MPCB has tripled the consented capacity of perennial violators.”

During Friday’s inspection, common effluent treatment plant (CETP) at Dombivli and Ambernath were dysfunctional in curbing industrial waste. “Discharge of effluents is going on in broad daylight. The CETP is being bypassed and untreated effluents are being discharged into the stormwater drains,” said Stalin adding, “After seven years of fighting to save the Ulhas river, we have now realised that the MPCB has taken an adversarial stand to support the violating industries.”

Ulhas river was much cleaner during lockdown: MPCB

As repeated complaints of water pollution from Ulhas and Waldhuni rivers pile up, the state pollution control board’s water quality assessment of Ulhas river showed that the water quality had improved during the lockdown. The water quality index reflected non-polluted status based on samples collected from six regions along the river. “Apart from a drop in industrial effluents, other activities such as the washing of vehicles, jeans washing units, service centres etc. all stopped improving Ulhas water quality,” said YB Sontakke, joint director, MPCB.


    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

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • A view of Dhan Mill Compound at 100 Feet Road, Chhatarpur, in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, July 2, 2022. (Photo by Amal KS/Hindustan Times)

    Delhi: From a granary to creative business street

    For the uninitiated, Dhan Mill Compound, a former granary and a cluster of warehouses, has morphed into the city’s modish food, fashion, design and lifestyle destination. Its streets are lined with art cafes, home décor outlets, ateliers, art galleries, pottery studios, dance halls and high-end boutiques, whose facades and interiors are as interesting and experimental as the wares they deal in. Interestingly, all of these fancy establishments are housed in re-purposed warehouse buildings, which still have metal roofs.

  • Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia. (Twitter/@AAPDelhi)

    Over a million got jobs on Rozgar Bazaar: Delhi govt

    According to a Delhi government official, a break-up of the total jobs, including the list of employers and the number of people they hired, will be shared “in a couple of days”. Notably, the government portal was launched by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on July 27, 2020, to help entry-level and blue-collar job seekers connect with employers at a time when the Covid-19 induced lockdown left many people unemployed.

  • Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai. (ANI)

    Govt to urge Centre to reduce tax for SUP options: Delhi minister

    “Manufactures, and start-ups which are working on alternatives to single-use plastic have to pay more GST for raw material. Hence, the Delhi government will write to the Centre and request a reduction in GST rates,” Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said.

  • A view of Humayun's Tomb on a rainy day in New Delhi, India, on Sunday, July 3, 2022. (Photo by Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times)

    Delhi weather: Yellow alert issued till Tuesday

    Safdarjung, Delhi’s base weather station, recorded 0.1mm of rainfall between 8:30am and 5:30pm on Sunday. The Capital recorded 1.9mm of rainfall on Saturday and 117.2mm on Friday, making the monthly total 119.2mm so far. The normal monthly average for July is 210.6mm, said weather experts.

  • Monsoon turns Hauz Khas monument into an archipelago of stony islands.

    Delhiwale: Six shades of monsoon

    Monsoon elevates Adam Khan’s tomb into an emergency sanctuary for passersby (and dogs) speared by sudden showers. Perched atop a Mehrauli hillock, the monument overlooks the Qutub Minar, which appears totally bechara and defenceless in the heavy rain.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, July 04, 2022