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

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

No Election Commission safeguard against electromagnetic hacking of EVM: Study

Counterview Desk  Releasing a new study simultaneously in Chennai and Kolkata in view of the forthcoming elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the Citizens’ Commission on Elections (CCE) – a civil society initiative – has regretted “lack of integrity of EVM voting”, pointing out, the Election Commission of India (ECI) does not appear to safeguard against the possibilities of ‘side-channel attacks’, i.e, hacking electronic devices through electromagnetic and other methods.

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

Whither right to food? Social security scheme allocation for woman, child 'reduced'

Counterview Desk Pointing out that women and children have been ignored in the Union Budget 2021-22, the advocacy group Right to Food Campaign (RtFC) has said that the Government of India should have taken into account the fact that even after the lockdown was lifted, distress among marginalized communities continues, with people having lower incomes and reduced food consumption.

'Viability' of agricultural cooperatives vs govt proposed pro-corporate economic model

Dr Gian Singh* The farmer struggle started from Punjab against the promulgation of three agricultural ordinances by the Union government in June 2020 and the enactment of three bills by Parliament in September 2020 to replace these ordinances is unique in many respects. There is no other example of such a peaceful and democratic farmer struggle.

NAPM extends support to Indian, Aussie citizen groups 'opposing' Adani ventures

#StopAdani action in Australia  Counterview Desk  The civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), extending solidarity to the global campaign by the Youth Action to Stop Adani (YAStA), held in recently in Australia and India, has said that the effort was to bring more attention to the struggle aboriginal, indigenous peoples, farmers, working class and other oppressed communities against allegedly anti-people multinational corporate conglomerates.