In hot water

Dahanu fisherfolk protest

 
By Nidhi Jamwal
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

fisherfolk in Dahanu taluka near Mumbai have alleged that discharge of hot effluents from the Dahanu Thermal Power Station (dtps) -- a 500-mw power station of Reliance Energy Limited -- into the local creek is leading to a loss in fish catch, thereby affecting their livelihood. They have demanded a continuous and regular system to monitor the temperature of dtps effluents , both at the inlet and outlet sites.

The fisherfolk of Pale-Lingapada village in Dahanu had complained that dtps was not meeting standards while discharging effluents. The Dahanu Taluka Environment Protection Authority asked the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (mpcb) to test the temperature of the creek.

mpcb carried out the tests on April 4, 2006, and gave a clean chit to dtps. But the fisherfolk and local activists, in whose presence the tests were conducted, remain unsatisfied. " mpcb test results can't be taken at face value as this was a pre-announced visit," says Michelle Chawla of the Dahanu Taluka Environment Welfare Association (dtewa), an ngo . After the mpcb team left, activists re-tested the water and claimed the temperature difference was 5 c higher than permitted levels. Earlier in March, dtewa had tested the water and found the difference 4 c higher.

"The fisherfolk of Pale-Lingapada have complained of hot water discharge from dtps, particularly in April and May, which affects the creek's aquatic life, specifically prawns," says Brian Lobo of Kashtkari Sanghatana, an ngo.

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