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No respite from industrial effluents 'dumped' in Central Gujarat river: Probe sought

By Our Representative

Alleging that untreated industrial effluents continue to be dumped in Mahisagar, one of the major rivers of Central Gujarat, well-known environmentalists Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) in a letter to senior officials of the state government have said, their spot inquiry suggests things have not changed despite the fact that they had brought the matter before the authorities in a letter dated November 14 with concrete evidence.
Addressed to Gujarat chief secretary Anil Mukim and officials attached with the state environment department, the environmentalists asked “the authorities to take prompt action and investigate the matter in utmost urgency through a technically sound committee of experts for a period of minimum three months with close monitoring on a daily basis.”
Providing evidence in the form of videos and photographs, which they took on December 13, the environmentalists in their letter, a copy of which has been sent to the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, said, samples taken by them a month ago in Mahi river in villages Kareli, Dabka, Mujpur, and Umaraya, taluka Padra, district Vadodara, 25 km from Vadodara, had suggested the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) was 170 mg/litre and Dissolved Oxygen (DO) 2.93 mg/litre, “which speaks of the disastrous damage by itself.” 
Dec 13: Prajapati at Mahi river, as an activist collects sample
The letter said, the confluence of the Mahi river and the effluent channel at ‘J Point’ in the Gulf of Khambhat is in very close proximity to that of the Sabarmati river, which passes through Ahmedabad, and “carries high concentration of sewage and industrial effluent, continuously dumped into Gulf of Khambhat, round the clock, unabated.”
It added, “This confluence area pollution is particularly alarming and worrisome as we fear that the tidal activities in the Gulf of Khambhat drive the highly toxic and polluted waters inland at the estuaries of the Mahi and Sabarmati rivers, hence causing tremendous risk to the settlements, villages and towns in that region.”
The environmentalists believed, “This is the result of continuous and voluminous discharge of effluent and sewage over a period of three decades, which might form toxic sediments in the stretches along Gulf of Khambhat, particularly near the mouths of the river estuaries which may get agitated and flow inwards, up the river with the boar, during high tides.”

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