Skip to main content

Farmers' group to GPCB: Why refuse to seal industry-controlled 'polluting' borewells?

By Our Representative

The Farmers Action Group (FAG), a Gujarat-based group, in a letter to the chairman, Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), taking strong exception to a GPCB letters dated July 15 and 27 to the farmers of seven villages of Vadodara district seeking to seal their borewells, has wondered why is the top state government agency refusing to take a similar step against polluting industrial units in the region.
FAG said in its letter, if farmers’ bore wells in the seven villages are to be sealed citing the Supreme Court order May 7, 2004, GPCB should simultaneously “consider sealing of all other borewells emitting chemically polluted water, including all bore wells located in industrial units and villages”, as required by the apex court. It insisted, GPCB should help implement the order “in letter and spirit, and not in piecemeal.”
Asking GPCB to take necessary remedial measures, as required by the apex court, the letter said, prior to sealing the borewells, GPCB should inform all the owners two months prior to their closure after making “appropriate arrangements within six months for drinking water and water for irrigation”.
Telling GPCB not to “frighten small farmers” by its decision to seal borewells, the letter said, “GPCB’s actions need to be reasonable. A constructive way forward needs to be determined. It needs to show compassion and tolerance. We do not want this important social issue to turn into a game of football with GPCB.”
FAB said, the 2004 apex court order had directed the state government to supply drinking and irrigation water to the villages around the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporations (GIDCs) or Vapi, Ankleshwar and the Effluent Channel Project (ECP) of Vadodara district, including to the seven villages lying along the ECP of Vadodara district, Luna, Ekalbara, Sherkhi, Umraya, Nana Ekalbara, Bhimpura and Bhavpura, whose borewells GPCB is seeking to seal.
Wondering why GPCB is “misconceiving” the Supreme Court order, which not only talked about “closure of all the hand-pumps and bore wells in the areas and wherever possible”, FAB said, it sought implementation of a project to decontaminate ground water within a time-frame.
Further, FAB said, the order had insisted that
  • The water for agricultural purposes should be made available to the farmers two months prior to the closure of the borewells which are contaminated,
  • Supply water to the affected communities through tankers on a daily basis at the cost of the government and the concerned industry associations, and 
  • Release permanent water connections through pipes for drinking purpose and some appropriate arrangement for irrigation purposes so that the dependence on tankers is removed. 
Suggesting that groundwater contamination is mainly caused by industries in the region, FAB said, “Sixteen years have passed and remediation steps have not shown any material reduction in chemical contamination of groundwater. We, or for that matter, anyone would, feel that 16 years is a very long time, and pollution is still not under control.”

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.