A river polluted

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

ABOUT 157 villages in Shahdol district of Madhya Pradesh are situated on the banks of the Sone river. But life for the villagers has become a constant struggle, as they are deprived of potable water. Sone, which is the only source of water for these villagers has been poisoned and their fertile land has been converted into barren tracts.

The reason for this is the sludge being discharged into the river by Orient Paper Mills which draws about 65,000 cubic metres of water daily from the Sone to feed its 225-tonnes a day capacity integrated pulp and paper unit. A constant battle has been going on between the management and the villagers over the pollution issue since the setting up of the Birla-owned mills in 1965.

The sustained efforts of the people of the region have not been wasted as the petition committee of the state assembly, in its recent report to the legislature has asked the government to consider closing down the unit if it fails to control the pollution by installing the equipment suggested by the Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute.

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