Water in Ulhas river near Mumbai highly polluted, MIDC tells Maharashtra pollution board
Water from the river is treated and supplied to the Badlapur-Thane belt for drinkingmumbai Updated: Dec 13, 2017 10:32 IST
The quality of water in Ulhas River is deteriorating owing to pollution, the water treatment unit of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) told the state pollution control board, urging it to take immediate measures to fix the problem.
After treatment, the water from the river is supplied to the Badlapur-Thane belt for drinking purposes.
“It is observed that the quality of water in the Ulhas River near our intake well [in Jambhul] is deteriorating due to mixing of some unknown effluents at upstream locations. The colour of the water is slightly blackish with chemical foam that smells. Due to this polluted river water, the quality of treated water is being seriously affected,” read the letter, signed by MRK Raju, deputy engineer, Barvi Water Works, Jambhul, and addressed to the sub-regional officer MPCB, Manchank Jadhav.
HT has a copy of the letter that was sent in the first week of December.
MIDC officials told HT that this was not the first time they had witnessed such a problem. “We were forced to write to MPCB about the issue after this incident happened for the third time this year,” said an official from the Barvi Water Works, requesting anonymity. “As we have our own lab, the quality of water is tested before release. We are forced to cut off supply as it might be lead to health issues.”
Meanwhile, the MPCB said they have taken cognisance of the complaint and a detailed survey was done over the past two weeks. “We have identified a nullah in this region that is responsible for this issue. There are no industries here but it is mostly domestic waste. Samples have been collected and the local municipal corporation has been informed to take steps to control this pollution,” said Jadhav. “Apart from this location, there is no other pollution issue upstream of Ulhas. However, Waldhuni River, on the other hand, continues to be heavily polluted.”
Last month, the Supreme Court (SC) directed the chief secretary of Maharashtra government to give an undertaking to disburse Rs100 crore for restoration of Ulhas and Waldhuni Rivers.
The chief secretary, Sumeet Mullick, gave an undertaking that the sum will be released in two parts and restoration work will begin. MPCB member secretary P Anbalagan had told HT that a three-step process will be used to reduce pollution and restore the rivers.
Petitioner NGO Vanashakti, said they will be raise the Ulhas River issue in the SC during the hearing scheduled next week. “The SC has taken cognisance of the pollution of rivers. But vested interests, both political and government machinery, help increasing the pollution. This is happening at the cost of people’s health,” said Stalin D, director, NGO Vanashakti.