THE paper industry of Punjab has shown
utter disregard for environmental concerns by openly flouting the rules
regarding discharge of waste and effluents. And the state pollution control
board has taken no action to check this
offensive on environment. The paper
mills like Sukhna at Derabassi and
Shreyans at Ahmednagar, have been
releasing effluents into adjacent fields
and rivers. Pollution in water samples is
measured in terms of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), a measure of
organic matter which enters the effluent
and depletes the oxygen In water. BOD
levels of the mills were found to be far
higher than the permissible limits.
High levels Of BOD harms acquatic life due to lack of oxygen in the water -leading to their death. On the soil surface, the effluent forms a surface layer and prevents proper absorption of oxygen by the soil, thus obstructing germination of seeds. If the contaminated water seeps into soil and mixes with the underground water, then it would find its way out through pumps as drinking water.
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