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MPCB slams PMC, PCMC for not using adequate budgetary allocation to control river pollution

 “Given the poor quality of water, we have issued notices to PMC and PCMC this week regarding their failure in using the mandated 25 per cent budgetary allocation to curb river pollution. Earlier too, we had filed a case against both civic bodies and had issued guidelines regarding the same,” said SD Gandhe, regional officer, MPCB.

pune Updated: Jun 15, 2018 14:45 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,MPCB,PMC
During the past few years, untreated sewage, industrial waste and garbage have flown unchecked into Mula and Mutha rivers, further deteriorating the already bad quality of river water. (HT PHOTO)

With Mula-Mutha river acquiring a new identity as being extremely polluted with untreated sewage and hyacinth, environmental watchdog Maharashtra pollution control board (MPCB) has sought a clarification from Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporations on how much money the civic bodies are spending on river pollution control.

During the past few years, untreated sewage, industrial waste and garbage have flown unchecked into Mula and Mutha rivers, further deteriorating the already bad quality of river water.

MPCB, in a June 2017 report, has categorised the water quality of rivers flowing through Pune district as ‘bad or very bad’. According to MPCB officials, besides industrial waste, domestic waste is also polluting the rivers.

“Given the poor quality of water, we have issued notices to PMC and PCMC this week regarding their failure in using the mandated 25 per cent budgetary allocation to curb river pollution. Earlier too, we had filed a case against both civic bodies and had issued guidelines regarding the same,” said SD Gandhe, regional officer, MPCB.

While Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporation (PCMC) has failed to curb the uncontrolled growth of water hyacinth in the Pavana and Mutha rivers, Pune municipal corporation (PMC) has been struggling with sewage water treatment. Out of the 850 million litres per day (MLD) of waste generated in Pune, 177 MLD of waste enters the rivers without being treatment, polluting them.

Another MPCB official, on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to media, said that PMC is treating only 400 MLD water out of 850 MLD sewage collected.This means that the civic body’s water treatment plant is not working in its full potential, the official said.

According to Shailaja Deshpande, director of Jeevitnadi-Living river foundation, a large number of house effluents are also responsible for the pollution of Mutha. “Effluent treatment plants of PMC are not working in its full potential. Then why is PMC investing in projects like Jika?”

Deshpande noted that chemical detergents were also harmful for marine biodiversity.

The Rs 1,000 crore Mula Mutha river development project was approved by the central government in January 2016. Yet, the project has failed to kick-start as the Centre failed to appoint a consultant for preparing the tender document. PMC will be executing the project with the help of Japan international cooperation agency (JICA).

First Published: Jun 15, 2018 14:44 IST