Skip to main content

Govt of India "dilutes" sea pollution criterion, allows COD norms up to 500 mg/litre without any study

Counterview Desk
Top environmentalist Rohit Prajapati has strongly protested against the Government of India considering to “dilute” the chemical oxygen demand (COD) norms from 250 milligram per litre (mg/l) to 500 mg/l for discharging industrial water into the sea, saying “this is not based on study.”
Prajapati said, this being done under the garb of a new criterion -- “achievable” environmental norms -- rather than the “caring capacity” of the environment, adding, it would only “deplete the environment” around our sea shores irreversibly.
Pointing out that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is waiting for “right-time” to make an announcement on this, Prajapati has said in a note he has circulated to the media, the approach of “dilution as the solution” to deal is “a shameless attempt to condone industrial expansion even in areas where there is evidence that the environment is already ‘critically polluted’.”
“We are in an era where the three ministries of environment, labour and industry, individually and collectively, are increasingly concerned about ‘improving environment’ from the perspective of industry and its profitability, industrial-friendly labour laws and prosperity of industry; this is aimed an accelerating production and profits of industrialists in the ‘interest of gross domestic product (GDP)’,” Prajapati said.
According to Prajapati, “When any government and its concerned authorities talk about ‘prescribed norm’ for the chemicals, we should keep in mind that it only means that the government is okay with that much pollution load, suggesting that it would have no impact environment and health of the people.”
He underlined, however, that the new “prescribed norms calculations are not based on carrying capacity of the environment and the people, but bearing capacity of the industries to keep up their profitability”, adding, the “prescribed norms of a chemical substance is an exposure level to which it is believed an environment and people can be exposed day after day for a lifetime without adverse effects.”
Stating that the prescribed norm concept is similar to the threshold limit value (TLV) concept for the working condition inside the industries, Prajapati emphasized, “When we design the ‘norms’ the fundamental question we should ask to ourselves is: Are we designing the ‘norms’ based on carrying capacity of the area. i.e. keeping in mind existing pollution load of the area?”
He further stated, there is a need to ask whether one has “considered the facts that many people staying in nearby industrial clusters are living below poverty line and are not able to take required calories in their diets and many of them are malnourished”, whether the “designed ‘norm’ for particular cluster or designing the “norms” for an area in general”, and should one design general ‘norms’ or we should design area specific ‘norms’.”
Prapapati said, “Same is the case with calculation of TLV. Today very few people have information and knowledge about the data based used for the design of ‘environment norms’ and ‘TLV’,” adding, by doing so, “We do not debate the authenticity of data base itself.”
“This is a result of the economic and political decision that decides the central and state government’s industrial policy to ensure the profitability of the industries, Prajapati commented, adding, “It is time to oppose the dilution of COD norms from 250 mg/l to 500 mg/l. Raising the norms will artificially reduce the number of the critically and severely polluted areas on paper, while more industrial clusters will join the list of critically and severally polluted areas in reality. This will only lead to further deterioration of the environment.”

Comments

TRENDING

US research: 40% of India's casteist Facebook posts are anti-reservation, anti-Dalit

By Rajiv Shah
A recent American civil society research has found that 40% of India's casteist posts on Facebook (FB) have anti-reservation slant. Asserting that the reservation policy in India is similar to affirmative action in the United States, the research study, titled "Facebook India: Towards The Tipping Point of Violence Caste and Religious Hate Speech", says, this type of hate content on FB is mainly directed against Dalits and Adivasis.

Sanjiv Bhatt paying price for deposing on Modi role in Gujarat riots: Wife Shweta

Counterview Desk
Following the Jamnagar sessions court ordering life imprisonment to former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt for his alleged involvement in three decades old custodial death case, his wife Shweta Bhatt has said that he has been sentenced for a “for a crime he did not commit”, even as criticizing the Indian Police Service (IPS) Association, Gujarat, for not standing up for him.

Senior advocates targeted because they took up cases against Amit Shah: Lawyers' NGO

Counterview Desk
The Lawyers Collective (LC), an NGO claiming to promote human rights issues, has expressed surprise at the latest move by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register an FIR against the Lawyers Collective (LC), its president Anand Grover and unknown office bearers for alleged violation of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA).

How Gujarat govt imposed curbs on livestock export for 'fear' of losing BJP vote share

By RK Misra*
Insidious are the ways authorities function, preaching one thing, practicing quite another. Administrative muscle-flexing to suit political goals was on display when the BJP-led Vijay Rupani government in Gujarat banned the export of livestock days ahead of Eid. Even the Narendra Modi-led government expressed its intent to confirm it countrywide, but stopped short of doing so.

One of the least peaceful countries, India's global peace ranking deteriorates: Report

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report has asserted that India's ranking in the Global Peace Index (GPI) is 141st among 163 countries, deteriorating by four ranks in a year. Ranking 163 countries by providing a score to each, the report, prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), headquartered in Sydney, Australia, has found India to be one of the least peaceful nations in the region.

Demand for Bharat Ratna to Dalai Lama as top RSS leader warns China of 'strong' action

Nava Thakuria*
Dharamshala: Indian supporters for a free Tibet have urged the Government of India to confer Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour, on the Tibetan spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, for his “immense contributions” in creating goodwill for India in the last six decades. A declaration, adopted at the 6th All-India Tibet Support Groups’ Conference held on June 15 and 16 in Dharamshala township of Himachal Pradesh, said that the Nobel laureate continues to be a holy ambassador of Indian culture enriched with non-violence, compassion and religious harmony.

Sabarmati 'cleaned up' swimming pool style: Untreated effluents discharged in river

Counterview Desk
In a fresh letter to the secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India, senior Gujarat environmentalists Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) have taken strong objection to the recent clean-up drive of the about 11.3 km stretch of Sabarmati riverbed undertaken by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), terming it as “swimming pool type clean-up.” The river’s total length is 371 km.

Jharkhand mob lynching: Adivasis protest police 'inaction', FIR against victims

Counterview Desk
The Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch (JJM), a civil rights network, on Monday sponsored a protest against the police action against the Adivasi victims of the lynching which took on April 10, 2019, in Jurmu village of Dumri block in Gumla district of Jharkhand. The incident led the death of Prakash Lakda, aged 50.

Gujarat govt 'considers' temples, charitable institutions as shops and establishment

By Pankti Jog*
The Gujarat state assembly recently passed a new law which would "govern" the working condition of shops and establishments. One of the most talked about provisions of the Act is, it allow shops and establishments across Gujarat to function 24 hours.

There is no 'separate' Kashmir story, as there is for Afghanistan, Nepal, Tibet, Palestine

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of South Asia. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range. The name Kashmir derives from the Sanskrit Kashyapmeru. The Greeks knew it as Kaspeiria. Herodotus called it Kaspatyros.