The dirt from white

Documentary>> Marble Mutton with Slurry Water directed by K Bikram Singh produced by Public Service Broadcasting Trust and Doordarshan, 2007

By Abhinav Rathi
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Marble Mutton with Slurry Water seems a rather distasteful title for a documentary. But about halfway into the film when a bunch of goats run confused around a waterbody, we realize how apt the moniker is. The water seems snow white with fresh glacier melt. No we are not at a stream in the Himalaya, but at a lake in Rajasthan. The water has got its icy hue from waste from marble processing units nearby. Experts term this waste slurry, the local people pronounce it sulury .

The film is about marble producing units playing havoc with water sources in different parts of Rajasthan. The documentary begins at a quaint shrine on the outskirts of Udaipur. The shrine that looks like an art installation bears testimony to the people's reverence for the Roopsagar lake.This source of water for more than 10,000 families is under threat. Marble slurry seeps into this water body, causing respiratory and gastro-intestinal ailments. But the pollution control authorities do not classify it as pollutant.

For the most part, director K Bikram Singh uses conventional techniques. He speaks to local people, factory owners, administrators and experts. He visits mines, factories and water bodies.

Unlike documentaries that dwell only on problems, Marble Mutton with Slurry Water has solutions. Bikram Singh's interlocutors tell him that slurry can be used to make bricks, even roads.

Abhinav Rathi makes documentary films

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