Rivers from Pune carry most polluted water: MPCB
During the past few years, industrial units in the vicinity of Pune have been dumping untreated waste into the river, destroying the quality of water. When a recent survey carried out by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) found that rivers from Pune carry polluted water, environmentalists were not surprised. The MPCB in its recent 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 creating pollution in the rivers.
Out of the 744 million litres per day (MLD) of waste generated by Pune through sewage and other means, 177 MLD of waste is entering the rivers without treatment. For the past few years, residents of Indapur taluka in Pune district have been facing a dual crisis. On one hand they have been receiving inadequate rainfall with the water level of Ujani dam dipping which provides water in the region, on the other hand toxic contents present in the water have caused several ailments among the locals.
Besides MPCB, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Pune based Dr Mangesh Kashyap, professor Sandeep Joshi, water technologist Sachin Barve and researcher Kiran Joshi in their recently conducted study, carried out separately, found high levels of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) in rivers flowing through the district.
Among the rivers that have bad quality of water are Mutha, Pavana, Indrayani and Bhima, all part of the Bhima basin. The Bhima river which brings water into Ujani is one of 49 rivers in the state, whose stretches are found to have high amount of pollutants, according to the report from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The CPCB through its 156 monitoring units installed at different locations across the 49 rivers found that samples from 153 locations did not meet water quality criterion.
The main culprits are the industrial units dumping untreated affluent in the rivers. Taking cognisance of this, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has issued show cause notices to 5,308 industries and construction units between 2011 to 2017. Of the 5,308 entities which include industries and contractions sites, around 2,392 (45%) are from Pune region followed by Kolhapur 673 and Navi Mumbai 476.
The Hindustan Times has the list of factories which have been served notices by the MPCB. In most cases, the factories dumping toxic contents into rivers have turned a blind eye as the MPCB has limited powers, said sources from the MPCB.
Among the region from where large number of industries have attracted notices, Pune district stands at the top. Around 50% units from Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Chakan have received show cause notices while Chandrapur has received least number of pollutant units.
The latest MPCB report published in February 2017 says that Pune region has maximum number of river stretches where the water quality index is either “bad” or “very bad”. “Along with industrial waste, domestic waste is also causing pollution in the rivers passing through cities. Where ever the MPCB has found violations, actions have been taken,” said Jagannath Salunkhe, regional officer, MPCB.
Environmental activists, however, feel that MPCB has not been as effective as it should have been. “MPCB is the topmost authority to control water and air pollution. Unfortunately, they have been lackadaisical in their approach in taking action against industrial units diverting pollution to water bodies,” said Sarang Yadwadkar, an environmentalist. Among the factories found violating the environmental norms are mostly the small scale units who do not have effluent treatment units, which increase the oxygen level in the water post treatment.
Stretches of 49 rivers in the state have high amount of pollutants, according to the report from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
The water quality of some of the rivers passing through Pune district have been categorised as “bad” or “very bad”
According to Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, 744 million litres per day (MLD) of waste is generated by Pune through sewage and other means
Of the 744 MLD, 177 MLD untreated waste enters Mutha and Mula rivers that pass through the city