Issue Date: Jan 15, 2012
Indra Pal Singh fondly recalls drinking sweet water of the river Ami as a child. Elders of the village where Pal Singh grew up say the river gets it name from aam (mango) or amrit (nectar). Today, Pal Singh, pradhan of Adilapar village in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur district, says the 136 km river has become a nuisance. A drain that carries untreated industrial effluent from the Gorakhpur Industrial Development Area (GIDA) has reduced it to a filthy water body. Residents of more than 100 habitations downstream of the drain often complain of colds, mystery fevers, nausea and high blood pressure. They find it hard to breathe at night as the stench from the drain rises with the increase in the volume of the wastewater. The residents say the effluent level rises by half a metre at sunset.