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Holy dip in Sabarmati? Ahmedabad industrial units discharge wastewater despite notice


The fair at Vautha
By Our Representative
In a sharp admission, the Gujarat government has said that most of the industrial units of Ahmedabad, as also the city's residential houses, discharge waste water in Sabarmati, polluting the river. Notably, the river’s 11 kilometre stretch in Ahmedabad, where the riverfront has been beautified, is sought to be projected as a model for the country as a whole.
In a notice to all the Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs), which discharges waste water, allegedly without proper treatment, the state government’s pollution watchdog, Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) has said they should stop discharging through their mega pipelines into Sabarmati between November 8 and November 12, as it would “endanger the health of lakhs of devotees taking holy dip in the downstream at village Vautha.”
The notice, signed by BT Shah, GPCB in-charge, Ahmedabad (East), even as claiming that the waste water is discharged “after being cleaned”, wants CETPs to stop the discharge during the period as a major fair would take place during four days, when “lakhs of devotees would take a holy dip at the spot where seven rivers, Sabarmati being one of them, merge.”

Discharge into Sabarmati
Mahesh Pandya, director, Paryavaran Mitra, Gujarat’s top environmental body, even as making public the GPCB letter, said, citing facts he has dug out from official sources, “Despite the GPCB Ahmedabad’s CETPs have refused to oblige, and have instead continued to discharge waste water ever since midnight of November 7-8.”
Citing a factsheet of the CETP of the Vatva industrial area of Ahmedabad, set up by the Green Environment Cooperative Society Ltd (GECSL), a public-private partnership unit, Pandya said, the discharge of the “treated” effluent has continued to be sent into Sabarmati through its mega pipeline. “Notably, the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG’s) Gujarat reports have repeatedly drawn attention in detail about non performing of CETPs”, he added.

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