The plastic and food processing factories don’t have proper effluent treatment system
The Maharastra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has issued show cause notices to 11 plastic and food processing factories in Nasik for polluting the Godavari river. The industries were found releasing their untreated effluent into the river and have been given 15 days to respond.
These factories have been charged with violating Section 33 (A) of the Water Pollution (Prevention and Control) Act of 1974. The show cause notices were issued on August 29 after MPCB visited the area. The factories were releasing effluents into the river along the Tigrania road in Tapovan.
Earlier in July, MPCB had inspected 40 factories in the same area and found 11 of these functioning without consent to operate. Consent from the respective state pollution control board is mandatory for any factory to operate in the country. On July 25, too, MPCB had issued show cause notices to these 11 factories. They were found to be violating the rules when officials visited the area again last Monday. A S Fulse, regional officer of MPCB, says no proper explanation was given by these factories in response to the earlier show cause notices hence MPCB paid another visit on August 27 to check the pollution status. These factories do not have proper effluent treatment plants either. “Further action against the factories will be based on their response,” he adds.
But will these piecemeal actions taken by MPCB help? No, says Dhruv Mankad, director of Nashik-based non-profit Voluntary Association of Community Health and Nurture (VACHAN). “There are two points to be considered when discussing the pollution issue of the river Godavari—one is the industrial one and the other is the dumping of domestic waste. There are lot of studies done, reports prepared and inspections made, but no action has been taken so far to restore the health of the polluted river. Issuing a notice after the dumping of waste is going to do no good because the river is already degraded,” says Mankad.
The Tapovan stretch of the Godavari finds mention in the Central Pollution Control Board's national water quality monitoring study of 2009 also. It identified 150 polluted river stretches in the country and the Tapovan stretch of the Godavari as one of them. The BOD (biological oxygen demand) on this stretch was found exceeding the prescribed limit and the dissolved oxygen (DO) level was too low. (see graph)