Industrial town spent Rs 2 crore on flow meters that no one monitors
THE industrial units of Pali town in Rajasthan were made to install meters to measure the amount of effluents they discharge. But no one is monitoring them.
The Rajasthan high court ordered installation of flow meters in April 2008 to check industrial effluents from entering the Bandi river. It said the effluents should not exceed the capacity of the three common effluent treatment plants (cetps) in the textile town.
"The idea was to control overflow which is not ensured by simply installing the meters," said Sampat Bhandari, an industrialist. He said many of the flow meters are non-functional. The industrial units together have spent over Rs 2 crore on installing 330 meters till date. The Rajasthan Pollution Control Board's regional officer, Jagdeesh Singh, claimed there is no court mandate on monitoring the meters.He said the trust managing the cetps should monitor the meter readings. "We can't monitor the flow meters; that is the job of the pollution control board," said Naresh Mehta, head of the cetp trust. The cetps were upgraded at a cost of Rs 11 crore in 2008.
Farmers living downstream of the Bandi said the flow meters if monitored can pinpoint the units discharging excess effluents. Each industrial unit has a fixed quota that determines the volume of effluents it can discharge. "The half-hearted implementation of the court order has made no difference to the river," said Mahavir Singh Sukarlai, of a farmer association in Pali, Shri Kisan Paryavaran Sangharsh Samiti.
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