Skip to main content

"Failure" to monitor solid waste discharged into Gujarat canal, despite High Court orders, CAG reports: Environmental NGO

By Our Representative
An Ahmedabad-based environmental group, Paryavaran Mitra, has alleged that despite "efforts" of the Gujarat to clean up Ahmedabad's highly polluted 20 km city stretch of the 80-km long Kharicut Canal -- constructed by the Britishers more than 100 years ago in order to provide irrigation support to 10,200 hectares in Daskroi taluka of Ahmedabad district and Mahemdavad taluka of Kheda district -- things are unlikely to improve.
In a presentation, a copy of which was forwarded to Counterview on the occasion of the World Environment Day, June 5, the environmental group's Mahesh Pandya said, despite two landmark judgments by the High Court, its directions/orders have not being complied with, and there have been blatant violations of law and pollution norms by industrial units in the surrounding areas.
Pointing out that the Kharicut canal, which passes through the eastern industrial and densely populated areas, carries sewage and solid waste of the nearby colonies and untreated waste from industries, the environmental NGO said, no doubt, in May 2018, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) removed 30,000 tons of garbage from the canal, collected over the years, yet there is lack of proper monitoring and cleaning.
AMC has installed 104 CCTVs on 53 locations, which has not serve the purpose and didn’t bring much difference, the NGO contended, adding, the root cause of poor condition of Kharicut canal is the poor performance of the AMC. Thus, there is no timely collection of garbage, nor is there any effort to disconnect the illegal drainage lines laid by citizens and industries into the canal, it added.
Pointing out that government is giving "airy hopes" that the Kharicut canal would be turned into a six-lane road, the NGO said, way back in August 2010 also the state government decided to cover the canal by planning to invest Rs 65 crore to strengthen the canal lining, even as covering the canal by having eight major parks and gardens atop, but none of this happened.
Suggesting that the problem is linked with the way the Gujarat government approaches pollution, the presentation quoted a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report, submitted in 2011, which stated that none of the Central Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) discharged treated effluent as per norms of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB).
The CAG report of 2015 again that observed that CETPs were not adhering to outlet norms in discharging effluents, non-disposal of hazardous waste, leading to the pollution of natural water bodies, into which these effluents were being discharged, polluting the ground water as well as soil of the surrounding areas. The monitoring mechanism of GPCB was ineffective, it added.
Then, said the NGO, the CAG report of 2017 said that out of 159, 96 municipalities did not have any proper sewage system, thus solid waste gets accumulated in pits and holes and further spoils crops and contaminates ground water as well as surface water sources. None of the municipalities of the state has technology to purify the contaminated water, it added.
The presentation said, the Water Act 1974, Article 24, prohibits discharge of solid waste into the streams, wells and on land. The solid waste should first get purified and then discharged into the main channel. The principles and rules of the GPCB, too, are quite clear about this. In fact, said the NGO, solid waste should be 100% purified before the final discharge, and 20% of that water should get reused. But these norms are never followed.

Comments

TRENDING

It's now official: Developed Gujarat's regular, casual workers earn less than 19 top states

By Rajiv Shah
Though not as low as state chief minister Vijay Rupani claims it to be (0.9%), Gujarat’s unemployment rate, at least as reflected in a recent report released by the Government of India, is 4.8%, lower than the national average, 6%. Yet, ironically, the same report, released soon after the Lok Sabha polls came to an end in May 2019, brings to light an even grimmer reality: Lower wages in "model" and "developed" Gujarat compared to virtually the whole of India, including the so-called Bimaru states.

Amaravati: World Bank refusing to share public grievances on Land Pooling Scheme

By Our Representative
A new report, prepared by the advocacy group Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), New Delhi, has taken strong exception to the World Bank refusing to share its independent assessment of the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS), floated by the Andhra Pradesh government in order to build the new capital.

Telangana govt proposes to give unfettered powers to forest officials, 'help' corporates

By Dr Palla Trinadha Rao*
The Telangana Government is contemplating to replace the Telangana Forest Act 1967 with a new law - the Telangana Forest Act (TFA) 2019, trampling the rights of adivasis ensured under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA Act 2006) and Panchayats Extension to Schedule Area (PESA) Act 1996 both of which are central acts.

British companies export 'deadly' asbestos to India, other countries from offshore offices

By Rajiv Shah
“The Sunday Times”, which forms part of the powerful British daily, “The Times”, has raised the alarm that though the “deadly” asbestos is banned in Britain, companies registered in United Kingdom, and operating from other countries, “are involved in shipping it to developing nations”, especially India. India, Brazil, Russia and China account for almost 80% of the asbestos consumed globally every year, it adds.

RSS, Hindu Mahasabha were 'subservient' to British masters: Nagpur varsity VC told

Counterview Desk
Well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam, associate professor (retired), University of Delhi, in an open letter to the vice-chancellor of the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Dr Siddharthavinayaka P Kane, has taken strong exception to the varsity decision to include RSS’ “role” in nation building in the syllabus of the BA (history) course, citing instances to say that the RSS ever since its birth in 1925 with its Hindutva allies like Hindu Mahasabha led by VD Savarkar worked overtime to “betray the glorious anti-colonial freedom struggle”.

Beijing-based infrastructure bank 'funding' India's environmentally risky projects

By Our Representative
A new civil society note has questioned the operations of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, seeking to fund projects in India through the Government of India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), calling it “a risky venture”.

Govt of India 'lying': MGNREGA budget reduced by Rs 1,084 crore in 2019-20

Counterview Desk
NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, a well-known advocacy group for the rural jobs guarantee scheme, under implementation since 2005, has said that the statement by the Rural Development Minister has a made a mockery of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) on the floor of Parliament, revealing the ruling BJP’s “anti-worker and anti-poor bias”.

Include all workers exposed to silica dust in anti-TB programme: Govt of India told

Counterview Desk
In a letter, sponsored by well-known civil rights organization, Occupational & Environmental Health Network of India and signed by more than 60 professionals and activists*, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, has been told that Indian policy makers shouldn't just acknowledge higher TB risk to mine and stone crusher workers, but also “other silica-exposed workers”.

Universal healthcare? India lacks provisions to 'fight' non-communicable diseases

By Moin Qazi*
Universal health coverage (UHC) -- ensuring that all people receive proper and adequate health care without suffering financial hardship -- is an integral part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It enables countries to make the most of their strongest asset: human capital.

Govt of India seeks to 'subvert' autonomy of adjudicating authorities: RTI amendment

Counterview Desk
India's independent Right to Information watchdog, The National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI), in a statement, has said that the Government of India’s proposed amendments to the RTI Act to empower the Centre to unilaterally decide the tenure, salary, allowances and other terms of service of Information Commissioners at the Centre and States “seriously undermine” the law.