Gangajal Nature Foundation, Mumbai

Important Pollution Sources

  1. NAGAR NIGAM : More than 175 MLD city sewage mixed with toxic industrial effluents is generated at Varanasi. The Jal Nigam has established Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) for the treatment of only 122 MLD (100 MLD at Dinapur STP + 10 MLD at Bhagwanpur STP + 12 MLD at DLW). About 53 million Litre Per Day (MLD) untreated sewage mixed with toxic industrial effluents containing acids, alkalis, heavy metals e.g. lead. Cadmium, Chromium, Nickel etc. are directly discharged into the river Ganga by the Nagar Nigam, Varanasi.
  2. JAL NIGAM'S SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANTS (STP) : Not effective for the treatment of sewage generated at Varanasi (Sewage mixed with toxic industrial effluents) due to following :
    No toxic heavy metals can be completely removed by these existing STP. The Jal Nigam has accepted his fact. Chief Environmental Officer, UP Pollution Control Board produced a letter to this effect before the Hn'ble High Court on August 20th, 1998, during my presentation of low cost effluent treatment technology to the Saree Printing Industries. Since these STP does not remove toxic metals and so-called treated water is used for the irrigation of crop fields there are possibilities for accumulation of these toxic metals in the food grains and vegetables. Due to process of BIOLOGICAL MAGNIFICATION persistent chemicals may accumulate in the soil and reaches to the body of human and animals through plants leading health hazards in the surrounding areas. In the name of manure dry sludge (Which contain toxic metals) is being sold by the JAL NIGAM to the ignorant farmers and without knowing adverse effects the contaminated sludge is being used for manuring the crop and vegetable plants.
  3. POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD : The Board constituted for the purpose has failed to function efficiently and effectively as per Environmental Protection Act. 1986. For example names of the industries/organizations responsible for the pollution of sacred river Ganga submitted by the Pollution Control Board to the Hon'ble High Court are not correct. Proper actions are not recommended against the all the polluting industries. Without testing the effluent quality no one can certify the level of pollution. However, it is done by the Board Officers. From the records of recently closed industries, it appears that effluent quality of all the industries were not analyzed by the Board. For real evaluation of the quantity and quality of pollutants all the industries may be asked to display the testing results and Board may be directed to collect the effluent samples as per norms of the Environment (Protection) Rules 1986; Rule 6, 7 and 8. Some facts related to the Ganga Water pollution at Varanasi are as follows :
    • There are about more than 2500 pollution sources/industries/manufacturers such as Saree Printing, Dyers, Lead Battery, Metal Processing, Electro Plating, Plastic, Rubber, Soap & Detergents, Cattle houses, Cattle bathing, Hospitals, Diesel operated Motor Boats, Motor Services & Work Shops, Food Product etc; Where from huge quantity of pollutants are released into the River Ganga directly or indirectly. These pollution sources of River Ganga are known to the Pollutin Control Board, Varanasi. However, Names of all polluting industries/manufactures have not been reported to the Hon'ble Court reasons best known to the concerned officers.
    • Although, effluent samples are colleted for wastewater quality analysis by the representatives of the Pollution Control Board from all industries, however, testing results are not provided to the concerned industries/manufacturers. Therefore, it is not known to the concerned organizations that what kind of pollution is there or for which pollutant control technology is needed. This leads exploitation of the industries/manufacturers /waste producing organizations.
    In officers of the Pollution Control Board are asked to collect the samples under rules and industries/manufactures are asked to display the effluent & air quality testing results in their offices, it shall make clear the level of pollution induced by the industries and quantity of pollutant to be removed from the system. This shall not only help in the pollution abatement but will also check exploitation of the organizations.
  4. Cremation and disposal of dead bodies add another dimension of pollution. It is recorded that about 23000 to 32000 dead bodies are burnt every year on two burning ghats of Varansi named Harish Chandra and Manikarnika with the help of 8-10 X 10 tons fire wood. During cremation of the dead bodies, 350-480 X 10 Kcal energy is consumed. It is also recorded that about 200-300 tons ash content and 140-200 tons half burnt flesh content are released to holy river Ganga every year from the cremation ground. Due to religious believe about 3000 human and 6000 animals dead bodies and huge quantity of mineral are also added to the river.
  5. RAMNAGAR INDUSTRIAL AREA: Toxicants released from Ram Nagar Industrial estate and the town is an upstream discharge. Thus more attention should be given towards to control of pollutants released from the Ram Nagar area.

After long discussions and hearing, the Hon'ble court has made the following important observations and passed the orders.

SEWAGE WATER QUALITY AT VARANASI CITY
* Average of 52 samples 1997
Total sewage generated : 175 MLD
Arrangements for Sewage Treatment Dinapur 100 MLD
DLW 12 MLD
Bhagwanpur 10 MLD

DEAD BODY CREMATION AT VARANASI GHATS (1997)


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