Skip to main content

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.
The samples, says a GPCB report, were taken in October and December 2018 following a complaint the official watchdog body’s Vadodara office received from the top environmental  voluntary organization, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), and Farmers’ Action Group (FAG), representing farmers of the region.
Following the complaint, says the report, officials of GPCB regional office and vigilance office, Vadodara, swung into action with Rohit Prajapati of PSS and Ghanshyambhai Patel and Kirit Amin of FAG, visiting villages in Padra taluka to examine “21 borewells/abstraction wells” after taking their “water samples”.
Borewell samples within the premises on an industrial unit
The GPCB officials who participated in the sample-taking exercise – RP Rana, MV Soni, and MU Patel, all of them environmental engineers – found that, in nine borewells, whose samples were collected from within the premises of an industrial unit in Umaraya village of Padra taluka, the colour of the water was “reddish tinge, reddish, reddish brown or brownish.”
In the 12 other borewell water samples, collected from villages Luna and Umayara in the areas surrounding several other industrial units, the engineers found several variations, ranging from “dark yellow” and “reddish” to “yellowish”. Only five of the 21 samples, including three meant for drinking water, one for panchayat, and one for an industrial unit, were discharging “colourless” water. 
The report says, in the borewell of the farm of Geetaben Patel in village Luna, the water, being used for irrigation for the last six years, was “shining yellow”; in the borewell of Kapilaben Ramanbhai Patel’s farm also in Luna village, the colour of the water – being used by cattle for drinking and irrigation – was “reddish” to “dark yellow”, though earlier it was “light red”.  
Other borewells in farmlands, an industrial unit discharging polluted water 
Further, in the borewell of the farm of Ghanshyambhai Ramanbhai Patel, again in Luna village, meant for agriculture and cattle drinking, the colour was found to be “yellowish”. The borewell of the farm of Gansyambhai Chandubhai Patel, also of Luna village, discharged “light yellow water”, and was being used for agriculture for the last seven years. Then, the borewell of the farm of Rameshbhai Somabhai Padhiyar of Umraya village was also discharging reddish water or pale yellow water for irrigation for the “last 13 years.”
The situation was found to be the same in the water coming out of the borewell of the premises of an enterprise in village Luna, where the water had “reddish tinge”, and the borewell of the farm of Bhadreshbhai Bachubhai Sindha of Umraya village, which discharged reddish water, meant for “agriculture and cattle drinking”.
The report, obtained by PSS on March 11, 2019 following a Right to Information (RTI) plea, suggests that the water in the borewells in Padra villages had “dangerously very high" COD (chemical oxygen demand), said Prajapati, adding, the evidences suggest that groundwater pollution had crossed “even the limit of industrial effluent discharge norms.”
Calculates the environmentalist, COD was found to be 2,225 mg/l on October 16, 018) and 2,722 mg/l on December 26, 2018) in village Luna; TDS (total dissolved solids) was found to be 10,172 mg/l on October 16, 2018, and 11,188 mg/l on December 26, 2018); and BOD (biological oxygen demand) was 198 mg/l on October 16, 2018 and 72 mg/l December 26, 2018.
In his strongly-worded letter to Government of India and Gujarat government officials, warning that if they do not act, it would be construed as “contempt of court of the Supreme Court order, dated February 22, 2017”, in PSS activists’ Writ Petition (Civil) 375 of 2012, and “may result in suitable further action”, Prajapati says, “COD of groundwater has crossed the acceptable or permitted limits of the industrial effluent discharge, which is 250 mg/l COD” -- a “disastrous situation”.

Comments

Uma said…
This is true throughout the country. That is why none of our rivers will never be pollution-free. Maharashtra is supposed to have the dirtiest rivers.

TRENDING

ISKCON UK 'clarifies' after virus infects devotees, 5 die due to big temple meet

By Rajiv Shah
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), United Kingdom (UK), has admitted that at least 21 of its devotees were infected because of the spread of the coronavirus amongst the UK devotee community following the March 12 funeral and March 15 memorial of the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple president, in which about 1,000 people participated. Regretting that five of the devotees have passed away, the top Hindu religious in Britain body does not deny more may have been infected.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Idea of fair, tall, customized baby "rooted" in Nazi Germany, RSS' Golwalkar wanted crossbreeding with Brahmins

By Our Representative
Facts have come to light suggesting that the RSS’ experiment to have “fair”, “tall” and “customized” baby has an interesting Gujarat connection: It was first reportedly floated by its topmost ideologue Guru Golwalkar way back in 1960 while giving a lecture in Gujarat University.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.