Skip to main content

Industrial waste discharge into South Gujarat river aggravates pollution caused by Surat weir: Letter to PM

By Our Representative
Facts have come to light suggesting a two-decades-old causeway-cum-weir in Surat on one of the biggest rivers of Gujarat, Tapi, considered suryaputri (sun’s daughter) in folklore, has caused unprecedented environmental pollution in South Gujarat, with some of the top industries in the region discharging pollutants into it.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has claimed to have begun a major mission to clean up India’s rivers, starting with Ganges and Yamuna, a top South Gujarat NGO has alleged that sewage waters are being released into the river, as it reaches Surat, which is Gujarat’s second biggest city, and beyond into the sea, which is just 30 km away.
The letter comes close on the heels of the Uttarakhand High Court seeking to declare Ganges and Yamuna as 'living entities', and Union home minister Rajnath Singh wanting a similar status for Narmada in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
The NGO, Brackish Water Research Centre (GRWC), has alleged, “The situation has worsening by dumping of effluents from the giant industrial units like Kribhco, ONGC, Reliance, NTPC, Essar Steel and other giant ports like Adani, Shell, Essar bulk terminal, Gujarat Maritime Board’s Magdalla Port and jetties like L&T, Ultratech, Kribhco, ABG, Reliance and Niko.”
Saying that industrial waste water is being discharged through storm water drainage at nine difference places, GRWC reminds the Prime Minister that the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) has served notices to the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) to stop the disposal of sewage water in to drinking water reservoir, but with no results.
Signed by BWRC president MSH Sheikh, the letter says, the polluted waters are causing production of dangerous worms, adding, the reservoir’s plight has worsened because there is virtually no flow of fresh water from Tapi, except for meeting industrial and SMC needs.
Covering Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, and flowing 228 km in Maharashtra before entering Gujarat, where it traverses a length of 214 km in Gujarat, the letter regrets, “Except monsoon season Tapi does not exist at all due several upstream dams and weirs.”
The dams are Hathnur (Maharashtra), Girna (Maharashtra) and Ukai (Gujarat), and weirs are Dahigam (Maharashtra) and Kakrapar (Gujarat). The last one, just ahead of the sea, is the weir in Surat.
Pointing out that things are likely to get aggravated because of number of small weirs being constructed on the river, BWRC suggests, the Surat weir was built to satisfy the needs of the industry without any environmental impact assessment study.
Built under the public-private partnership between the Hazira Area Industries Association (HAIA) and the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC), BWRC says, “While SMC is utilizing the 1000+ MLD of water, rest of the water (500 MLD) is being utilized by giant industrial units Like Kribhco, ONGC, NTPC, Essar and Reliance.”
“There is zero discharge in the downstream of Tapi and estuary in summer and winter”, GRWC notes, adding, thanks to the weir, Tapi is unable to meet the sea, as a result of which “Tapi does not have brackish water area except during monsoon.”
“The migratory species of fishes would once come to breed in the area from fresh water and from marine water also throughout the year”, BWRC says, adding, “Tapi estuary has disappeared now in the downstream of weir. The estuary is totally saturated from pollutants. Ammonical nitrogen is very high. Fishing has totally stopped in the estuary.”

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.