Shailesh Parmar Raises Concerns Over Sabarmati River Pollution: Govt. Notifies 42 for Chemical-Laden Water Discharge in 2 Years

Why have there been numerous complaints of Sabarmati River pollution due to chemical-laden water released into the river from Ahmedabad city and surrounding areas during the ongoing Assembly session? And what kind of actions are being taken in response to these complaints? Such questions were raised, and the response was sought from the Forest and Environment Minister during the session. It was revealed that out of 20 rivers in Gujarat, 12 are polluted, while 8 rivers were declared pollution-free.

Complaints of Polluted Water in Rivers Within Two Years

During the Gujarat Assembly session today, Congress MLA Shailesh Parmar raised questions amidst the question-answer session. He addressed concerns regarding Sabarmati River and other polluted rivers in the country, highlighting worries about chemical-laden water being discharged into these rivers and the overall increase in complaints about polluted water in the last two years. Information regarding the actions taken by the concerned department was sought through questions directed to the Forest and Environment Department’s relevant office.

42 Notices for Chemical Pollution in Rivers within Two Years

In response to supplementary questions, Shailesh Parmar also pointed out the ineffectiveness of these notices, stating that while complaints about polluted water in rivers, particularly Sabarmati, have been filed, officials have merely indulged in setting. Furthermore, it was mentioned that police cases have been initiated in cases of polluted water, and notices have been issued for improper discharge of polluted water.

Lack of Implementation of High Court Orders for Stopping Pollution

In addition to these questions, Shailesh Parmar also commented on the ineffectiveness of these notices, stating that although the process of discharging chemical-laden water into the Sabarmati River has been continuously ongoing, the high court orders to stop this have not been implemented. He further stated that while complaints have been filed about polluted water, officials have been negligent in their duties. On the other hand, Mukesh Patel accepted the department’s concerns and mentioned that police cases have been initiated in cases of polluted water, notices have been issued, and improper discharge of polluted water has been sealed.

NEERI Conducts Study for Improving CETP

In response to PIL filed in the honorable High Court regarding Sabarmati River pollution, all these joint purification plans have undergone significant improvements under the study conducted by NEERI, the country’s first environmental institute. As a result of these improvements, the quality of water discharged from these joint purification plants, which carries water from the Sabarmati River, has seen an increase of over 30% in the last 2 years. This industrial water, which is regulated by the CPCB, is now almost close to the desired quality for discharge into the Sabarmati River.

Modernization of S.T.P. with World Bank Assistance

The S.T.P. (Sewage Treatment Plant) for household water extraction constructed by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is undergoing modernization with assistance from the World Bank. As a result of efforts by the government, there has been a significant improvement in the quality of water in the Sabarmati River. The government is committed to making all rivers pollution-free, including the Sabarmati. This was stated by the Minister of Forest and Environment, Mukesh Patel, in response to questions asked by members of the Legislative Assembly.

Efforts to Purify 12 Rivers

Minister Patel provided further details, stating that Gujarat leads the country in announcing pollution-free status for 8 out of 20 rivers announced nationwide by the Central Pollution Control Board in 2018. According to the report released in 2022, only 12 rivers are yet to be declared pollution-free. The government is committed to making these 12 rivers pollution-free as well, and work is underway in that direction.

No Exemption for Violators of the Law

Furthermore, Minister Patel emphasized that no exemptions will be granted to those violating environmental laws, including industries or institutions. He stated that the government will not tolerate any deviation from the law and will not hesitate to take action against violators.

Polluted Water Extraction from Vadva, Odhav, Naroda, Narol, and Danilimda

Regarding water pollution in the Sabarmati River, Minister Patel stated that industrial and household water extraction are the main causes. Industrial areas such as Vadva, Odhav, Naroda, Narol, and Danilimda in Ahmedabad city are the sources of industrial expansion.

Treatment of Industrial Wastewater in 8 Combined Purification Plants

The majority of industrial facilities are small and medium-sized units. Treatment of industrial wastewater from these units is carried out in 8 combined purification plants. The state government is very concerned about the pollution of Sabarmati’s water. Efforts are continuously being made by the government to improve the quality of this water. On January 12, 2023, a meeting was held with cabinet ministers and representatives from various industries in this department. Responsible officials and industry representatives were urged to take immediate action to treat polluted water.

Permission to Divert Sewage into Sabarmati from the Missing Chamber of the Pirana STP

It was mentioned that the industrial wastewater was treated in 6 C.E.T.P. (Common Effluent Treatment Plant) units in the eastern expansion of Ahmedabad is discharged into the Sabarmati River through a separate pipeline by the Narol Textile Infrastructure Environment Management (NTIEM) C.E.T.P. The sewage from the 30 MLD (Million Liters per Day) capacity combined purification plant (C.E.T.P.) of the Ahmedabad Hand Screen Printing Association, which has been treated from the AMC’s 180 MLD Pirana STP’s outlet, is diverted into the Sabarmati River by passing through the missing chamber. Permission has been granted for this diversion by the minister.

Niyati Rao

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