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Go tough against industrial estate units in Central Gujarat dumping effluents in village pond: Environmentalists

By Our Representative
In major environmental disaster in Central Gujarat, the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) estate in Penoli has been found illegally filling up a huge village pond nearby with untreated effluents flowing out of the industrial units. Top environmentalists belonging to the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati, Kantibhai Mistry, Ziya Pathan and Trupti Shah, backed by villagers under deputy sarpanch Salim Patel, have claimed that thanks to their intervention Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) officials were forced to visit Sanjali village, whose pond was polluted like this.
Patel discovered the way the pond was be3ing polluted on July 20, 2013, and reached up to officials of the Narmada Clean Tech Ltd, which is supposed to treat the effluents of the units in the GIDC estate, drawing their attention to the fact that industrial units in Penoli were dumping effluents in the pond. "The officials of the effluent treatment facility flatly refused, said the allegation was baseless. This made Patel to go to the space behind the facility with a video team. Only after the evidence clips were shown to officials did they agree that such a thing was actually happening", the statement said.
Thereafter, the statement said, Patel approached activists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, who met GPCB officials and complained against the way the pond was being sought to be polluted. "The GPCB officials reached there and saw how the effluents were flowing through the village from the Penoli side. Angry people complained that the GPCB was not taking enough care of what was happening with the environment around, and they had no faith in the organisation", the statement read.
Significantly, this is not for the first time that effleuents from the Penoli GIDC estate were being dumped in the village pond. "The villagers have complained about this several times over even the GPCB chairman and the member-secretary. However, the senior GPCB officials took no steps to stop the pollution of the pond. The villagers wanted the GPCB to put up monitoring stations at two different spots of the village, asking the authorities to take strict action against the industrial units responsible for dumping effluents in the pond", the statement said.
The environmentalists complained to the GPCB officials that, actually, the effluent treatment plant itself should bear the responsibility, as it was allowing the release of untreated effluents like this, which go right up Amraikhadi, polluting the the sea. "In the past, even GPCB officials have accepted that this was happening. However, so far no steps have been taken on polluting the village pond", the statement said, adding, "This is a clear violation the Gujarat High Court, which had asked the industrial units several years ago not to release untreated effluents like this towards Amraikhadi. It seems, the GPCB only take cosmetic steps to control pollution, which is quite unfortunate."

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