Skip to main content

Illegal industry release turns Sabarmati into dead river, 'agree' Ahmedabad authorities

By Rajiv Shah 

In a surprise admission, the Ahmedabad Municipal Commission (AMC) has said that “ill-treated or untreated or partly treated” industrial waste from “improperly working” effluent treatment plants (ETPs) is being “discharged into Sabarmati directly”. It added in an affidavit filed in the Gujarat High Court (HC) that “completely untreated industrial discharge” is also being “illegally discharged into the sewerage network” designed for household sewage.
It further admitted, there has been “illegal industrial discharge into sewerage access points such as manholes or machine-holes at odd hours (such as, in the middle of the night) by using tankers and flexible pipes.” Worse, there is “reverse boring of industrial discharge or usage of defunct/unused bore-wells or percolation wells to discharge industrial waste directly into the ground”, it added.
The AMC admission comes amidst as one of the members of the High Court-appointed task force, environmentalist Rohit Prajapati, telling the court during a recent hearing that Sabarmati for the 120 kilometres stretch in the downstream right up to the Arabian Sea is a “dead river.”
Briefing the court on proceedings of the meeting of the task force – formed on September 14, 2021 following a writ petition in the High Court on pollution in Sabarmati river – Prajapati said, all of its members had agreed that while the stretch of the Sabarmati river in the Ahmedabad city within the Riverfront Project was “brimming with stagnant water”, the stretch of “120 km of the river, before meeting the Arabian Sea, is ‘dead’.”
Insisting that the 120 km stretch “comprises of partially treated industrial effluent and sewage”, he said, “The Sabarmati river is highly polluted/contaminated… When the discharge quality deteriorates, the water quality in the river including its ecosystem would also deteriorate.”
Insisting that “there should be no discharge of the untreated industrial effluents and the sewage into the Sabarmati river”, he said, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) should act against the defaulting association running/handling the Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) and its member industries”, while AMC, “which is responsible for running the sewage treatment plants should ensure that the norms prescribed by GPCB .. are complied with scrupulously.”
He emphasised on the need to go ahead with “criminal prosecutions” against “all the owners/directors of the defaulting polluting industries, officers of the CETPs and the municipal commissioner of the Ahmedabad city if they are unable to adhere to the prescribed norms.”
Pointing out that the task force would further investigate and prepare “detailed reports about the ground water contamination as well as the contamination of the soil, food grains, vegetables and fodder for the 120 km downstream Sabarmati river”, he suggested, the environmental compensation for the damage caused by such erring entities must be recovered under as per the “formula prescribed” (polluter pay) by orders of the National Green Tribunal and the Supreme Court.
Rohit Prajapati
Prajapati said, the task force members “unanimously agreed” that the stretch of the Sabarmati river from Hansol to Vautha (120 km stretch) would be taken up “on priority basis” by making site visits by the second week of October 2021. Meanwhile, AMC should initiate “extensive drive” to identify the industries discharging the effluent into the sewerage network without permission, and initiate appropriate action.
It was also agreed that the traffic police should “increase surveillance on tankers or tractors carrying on hazardous waste and chemical effluent from the nearby industrial areas and to keep a strong vigil/check on any illegal discharge into the Sabarmati river and the drains”, he said.
He added, “It was discussed that no industry engaged in the manufacturing or dealing with the hazardous chemicals, acids, solvents, etc. should be permitted to discharge into the municipal sewer” and that “any such permission given in the past by GPCB or AMC should be “immediately withdrawn”.
Agreeing that ETPs and CETPs are not functioning as required, GPCB in its affidavit gave specific examples of these are being run in AMC-controlled areas Danilimda and Behrampura, which have 257 and 285 units respectively. It said, the Karnavati Textile Association, which was granted permission for setting up 130 MLD CETP, the same has till date not yet commenced the work.”
Based on the information provided by the task force, AMC and GPCB, the High Court bench consisting of Justices JB Pardiwala and Vaibhari D Nanavati directed the authorities concerned to “disconnect” water drainage and electricity of erring industrial units “which release partially treated/untreated wastewater”, insisting, no reconnection should be granted without GPCB “prior approval.”
As for the joint task force, the bench empowered it not only continue its work but also “publish in the newspapers the details of the set-up/industry along with the name of the owner running such set-up guilty of releasing untreated effluent wastewater into the sewer line maintained by AMC.”

Comments

I have a suggestion that besides the actions suggested by Hon High Court , the defaulting industry shall not get any financial loan / advances etc from any Bank or financial institution for such a criminal act .

In western countries , the financial institutions vet EIA of any such industry and examine their carbon foot print before considering them credit worthy .
Iqbalmasud Khan said…
Why go that far. Ask the municipal commissioner to stand on the Ellisbridge for a few minutes in the morning and watch tonnes of garbage being thrown into the river front waters.
Beside tonnes of stinking flowers gathered from Temples are thrown into the river

TRENDING

Billion vaccine doses? Devil is in details: 70% haven't got 2nd jab; numbers jacked up

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  India has reached the one billion Covid-19 vaccinations milestone. It is indeed a great news and a big salute to the less paid ordinary health-workers in interiors of India for this feat. The government wants all of India's 944 million adults to get vaccinated this year. Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated, the government says.

Political consensus? Celebrations, with over 5,000 plus post-vaccine deaths in India

By Rosamma Thomas*  As India fully vaccinated nearly 20% of its population and celebrated the “milestone” of administering one billion (100 crore) Covid-19 vaccine doses, it was time to remember those who died shortly after vaccination . By October 20, 2021 Twitter handle C400T, tracking deaths reported to have occurred after receiving the Covid-19 shot in India, updated the 5,134th death.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Uttarakhand, Kerala disaster due to policies favouring India's developmental mafia

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Two of India’s most beautiful regions where thousands of people go to watch and feel the wonders of nature are suffering because of the extremely disastrous rains and floods. The pain that the rains brought to Kerala and Uttarakhand is a warning to all of us. It's nature’s warning to us to mend our ways.

March opposes Sabarmati Ashram renovation: 'Mahatmaji had kept open for access to all'

Counterview Desk A Sevagram to Sabarmati march, which began on October 17 from Wardha (Maharashtra) and will end on October 24 in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), has demanded that the Sabarmati Ashram, the government should not impose "the fashion and glitz of a shallow modernity" at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore, in the name of renovating the Ashram founded by Gandhiji.

Religious mobs replicate blasphemy laws, 'threatening' liberty in a free country

Nihangs, Lakhbir Singh By Ajit Singh*   A Dalit man, Lakhbir Singh, was mercilessly beaten up and lynched to death near farmers’ protest site in the State of Haryana allegedly by Nihang Sikhs. It was alleged that he committed blasphemy by desecrating the Holy Book Guru Granth Sahib.