PCMC, AMC to face criminal charges for releasing untreated industrial effluents into Pune’s rivers
Environmental watchdog, the Maharashtra pollution control board (MPCB), is likely to file criminal cases against the Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporation (PCMC) and Alandi municipal council (AMC), as both civic bodies are being held responsible for releasing untreated industrial effluents into the Mula, Mutha and Indrayani rivers.
The decision to file complaints against PCMC and AMC was taken during a meeting held on Sunday, chaired by Ramdas Kadam, Maharashtra environment minister.
Hindustan Times has been constantly highlighting the problem of water pollution in the rivers and how PCMC and Maharashtra industrial development corporation (MIDC) are busy passing the buck over the establishment of a common effluent treatment plant.
Kadam ordered that if the civic bodies fail to control water pollution in the rivers, then, MPCB officers should file cases against them.
“PCMC is releasing 14 MLD (millions of litres per day) untreated industrial effluents into the rivers daily. Despite notices, they are not taking any action against the industries polluting the river. Hence, MPCB should file criminal cases against the civic bodies,” Kadam said.
PCMC officials, on condition of anonymity, said that they have already sent a detailed project report (DPR) of the common effluent treatment plant to MIDC and it is now their responsibility to set up a plant as early as possible.
SD Gandhe, regional officer of MPCB, said, “We have issued notices in the past to civic bodies responsible for release of untreated industrial effluents into rivers. Now, according to guidelines issued by the minister, we will soon file criminal cases against PCMC and AMC. For the same reason, we have called a meeting of officials on Tuesday in which we will decide our action plan.”
Also, PCMC has failed to repair vandalised drainage chambers carrying untreated sewage water towards the sewage treatment plant near Mula river in Sangvi. Even today, this chamber releases untreated water into the river. Social activist Raju Salve has raised the issue with the PCMC officials and requested them to immediately repair it. However even after 20 days, PCMC has failed to repair the damaged drainage chamber.
Salve said,“I had raised the issue 20 days ago with the PCMC. They have registered a police case against unknown persons, but PCMC has failed to repair it. Hence, I have approached MPCB to take action against the officers responsible.”
On June 15, HT reported how industrial effluent foam was spread across the river at Harris bridge. It was the result of discharge of industrial effluents and sewage into the river.