Published: Thursday 31 May 2001

Malda's dumping site

Waste management is increasingly becoming a mammoth task. This is largely due to our inability to reuse wastes. Today, the generation of wastes, is posing a serious health hazard to human lives. In West Bengal most districts are devoid of any waste management plan. The municipal solid wastes are either deposited in a pond or in low-lying areas. The Malda town municipality adopts the practice of dumping solid wastes everywhere. The main problem arises due to the lack of awareness, even amongst the officials in charge of collection, transporting and disposing of wastes.

The Mahananda, river in the process becomes a favorite site for dumping by both industries and households. This poses a threat to aquatic animals and people depending on the river for their daily needs. Therefore, there is a dire need to enlighten municipal officials and to establish an environment friendly technique for waste disposal. This will give a breather to both the river and the people dependant on it....

Impossible figure

This is with reference to a note entitled "Pesticide in fish" published in (Down To Earth, Vol 9, No 22, April 15) issue. It has been reported that R K Krishna, a senior investigator, of the Ganga Pollution Monitoring Project has found ddt in fish stocks from Ganga 16,000 times more than the permissible limit. However, the data needs to be verified. This is too high a figure, practically impossible. The figure needs to be checked and reconfirmed My team of scientists has found this data to be wrong unless, intentional contamination has been done for the fish stock with ddt .
I wish to draw your attention to the following figure. mrl /Permissible limit for fish for ddt -7mg/kg ( pfa 1954). I shall appreciate if you can pass on our observation to R K Sinha for confirmation of the data. I would request him to have direct correspondence with me for further discussion....

Our reporter replies

In the fortnight "Pesticide in fish" (Down To Earth, Vol 9, No 22; April 15) it was reported that ddt content in fish stocks from Ganga is 16,000 times more than the permissible limit. In fact, the findings of the study show that the content of ddt , in fish was 16,000 times more than that in Ganga water. The error is regretted....

Erring government

I am residing in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan. It's a-pollution free area. But now I am wary of the industrialists who have been invited by the Rajasthan government. Their units have faced closure because of immense damage done to the environment and their inability to have pollution control mechanisms. Their resettlement in Bhiwadi will change the face of the environment here. Why must the people suffer? Why can't the polluters be made to pay for the pollution they cause?

I would also like to point out a factual error in the article Bitten by the betel (Down To Earth, Vol 9, No 20; March 15) by R V Singh. It is stated that,' the practice of eating paan with chuna, khair, supari, ling and elaichi was started during the Mughal period by Noor Jahan, the queen of Shah Jahan.' This is incorrect. Noor Jahan was the wife of Jahangir....

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