10-feet of ‘effluent’ foam drowns Pune’s Mula river
Even as industrial effluents created multitudes of oncogenic froth on the river, PCMC and MIDC are busy passing the buck over the establishment of a common effluent treatmentUpdated: Jun 18, 2018 15:00 IST
Hindustan Times, Pune
Residents of Dapodi and nearby areas were in for a rude shock on Thursday morning when they woke up to a foaming Mula river near Harris bridge. Dyeing and sewage effluents had created multitudes of froth, which according to experts is ‘dangerous’ to humans and animals.
The foam had stagnated to a height of 10 feet and was spread across 10 metres under the Harris bridge, which connects Pimpri-Chinchwad with Pune municipal corporation areas. The foam, generated mainly due to industrial effluents, has been stagnating since the past few days, said local residents.
“We have observed that the colour of water in the river has changed and become black recently,” said Jagannath Kadam,62, who has been residing in Bopodi, on the banks of the river, for more than 20 years.
Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporation (PCMC) officials ruled out the possibility of the river being polluted by domestic pollutants and said that it was the result of discharge of industrial effluents and sewage into the river. Maharashtra pollution control board (MPCB) said the civic bodies are mandated to spend 25% of overall expenditure on pollution control measures.
“The foam formation is due to industrial discharge by industries in various areas under the jurisdiction of Maharashtra industrial development corporation (MIDC), inside PCMC limits. The waste from these industrial units flows through nullahs into the river,” said Sanjay Kulkarni, executive engineer (environment), PCMC.
PCMC has 12 sewage water treatment plants, with a capacity of 333 MLD (million litres per day). According to officials, the civic body is planning to construct three more plants for the newly merged villages at Bopkhel, Pimple Nilakh and Chikhali, in order to control water pollution.
“As far as industrial effluent treatment plants are concerned, it is the responsibility of MIDC to setup a common effluent treatment plant. We have already sent a detailed project report of the plant to MIDC and it is now their responsibility to setup a plant as early as possible,” added Kulkarni.
MIDC officials, however, countered the claim made by PCMC and alleged that it was PCMC’s responsibility to setup the plant.
“It is not our responsibility to setup an effluent treatment plant. According to MIDC rules, we can only build a common effluent treatment plant in chemical zones, like the one we have setup in Kurkumbh MIDC. Since Bhosari and other MIDC areas in PCMC are not chemical zones, it is the responsibility of the civic body to setup the plant. We have reserved a 6,711 square metre plot for the plant,” said SS Malbade, executive engineer of MIDC Bhosari.
According to Dr Nitin Mokashi, medical officer at Yashwantrao Chavan memorial hospital, industrial and home effluents contain malicious components that can be highly harmful for human beings, birds and animals.
Mokashi said, “If the water that contains foam comes in direct or indirect contact with humans, it can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, skin problems, headaches and a number of respiratory illnesses.These industrial effluents are oncogenic substances and are responsible for cancer, especially in small children.”
First Published: Jun 15, 2018 14:42 IST