Stop discharging effluent from CETPs in Gujarat: Activists
Ahmedabad: If you think having a reverse osmosis plant at home will keep you away from toxic chemicals contained in water, think again. In a state where no Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) is in accordance with the norms prescribed by law, toxins are bound to enter your body via the milk you drink, and the fruits and vegetables you eat.
These were among the startling facts put to the media, a day prior to the World Environment Day, by environmental activists. Rohit Prajapati, Swati Desai, Rajani Dave, Michael Mazgaonkar and Krishnakant from Paryavara Suraksha Samiti (PSS), and Mahesh Pandya from Paryavaran Mitra, quoted state government reports and demanded that discharge of effluents from CETPs be immediately stopped, as they do not meet the standards prescribed by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB).
"In the 90s, developing CETPs was supported by public money, that is, 25 per cent of the cost was state subsidy, 25 per cent central subsidy, 30 per cent loans from financial institutes, and 20% directly by the industry," Rohit Prajapati said.
"This means, half the cost of building CETPs to check pollution brought about by private industries, was funded by public money. And even after these investments, many of the CETPs, including those in Vapi, Ankleshwar, Panoli, Vatva, Odhav and other industrial areas, do not meet the GPCB's norms," Prajapati said.
"We, therefore, demand that effluent discharge at these CETPs be immediately stopped," he said. Prajapati had obtained his data on CETPs from GPCB under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.
Another environment activist, Michael Mazgaonkar, said that the CETP, which treats effluents from industries in Sarigam of Valsad, has been given a notice by the GPCB.
June 5, 2010
Most effluent plants in state are totally ineffective: Study
Ahmedabad: In the latest survey by Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) it has come to light that just five of the 26 central effluent treatment plants (CETPs) in 35 industrial clusters spread across 400 kilometres of Gujarat’s golden corridor have required efficiency. This has come as a major embarrassment to the state government.
A detailed investigation by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and GPCB has revealed that the CETPs, which were supposed to treat chemical water and then release them into water bodies, were in fact causing more harm to the natural environment. The report was procured under the RTI.
“In case of discharge into the Sabarmati at Vatva, CPCB found that the chemical oxygen demand (COD) was 879% more than the norms. At Odhav COD was 2,926% more than acceptable levels, at Naroda the effluent discharge was found to be 988% more. Also ammonical nitrogen values were found to be 380% higher than acceptable standards. This is a crude joke that the state government is playing with the lives of the people,” says Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti member Rohit Prajapati.The effluent channel project around Vadodara were found to be dumping toxic chemicals into Mahi river and the Gulf of Cambay that was 15 times more polluted than the accepted norms. The project is supposed to treat industrial waste and reduce pollution levels to acceptable levels before releasing it into Arabian Sea.
5th June 2010
The Times of India
‘Effluent treatment plants in chemical corridor not following GPCB norms’,
Effluent Treatment Plants (ETP) in Gujarat are in the dock. Activists from the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) have alleged that most Common and Final ETPs situated in the state’s chemical corridor are not following the norms set by Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), according to recent data collected by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
GPCB officials on the other hand say that notices were served to all non-functioning CETPs along with fines and GPCB officials were regularly monitoring the progress too. “Despite the ‘Polluter Pays’ principle, even in the 1990s, the then developing Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) were highly supported by public money 25 per cent of the cost was state subsidy, 25 per cent Central subsidy, 30 per cent loans from financial institute, and 20 per cent directly paid by the industry. In essence, half of the proposed solution to the pollution generated for private profit was funded by the general public,” said Vadodara-based Rohit Prajapati, who accessed the information regarding the non-functioning CETPs, through the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
Even as GPCB officials say that all CETPs are reminded on a regular basis not just by serving notices, but fines too, Prajapati and others from the PSS demand a total closure of the discharge, citing the Water and Environment Act.
“As a gift to the people of Gujarat, especially those who are affected by water pollution in these areas, on the occasion of World Environment Day, the Gujarat government should put a total closure of discharge from the units and adopt better strategies,” said Prajapati.
PSS activists said that rather than having ETPs and effluents channels, which are reportedly full of leakages as shown by CPCB reports, the treatment should happen at the source of the discharges. But GPCB and Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) officials say ETPs were set up to aid the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which cannot afford individual treatment facilities, which is one of the main reasons for setting up of CETPs.
5th June 2010
Gujarat: Activists object to effluent discharge from CETP
Environmental activists allege that treatments plants violating pollution control norms
Environmental activists, on Friday, demanded immediate stop to the discharge of effluent from Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) in Gujarat alleging that they were not meeting norms prescribed by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB). "Even in the 90's developing CETPs were highly supported by public money that is 25 per cent of the cost was State subsidy, 25 per cent Central subsidy, 30 per cent loans from financial institutes and 20 per cent directly by the industry," Rohit Prajapati of the Priyavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) told reporters here today.
"Which means half of the cost for building CETPs to check pollution done by private industries was funded by public money. And even after such huge investments,many of the CETPs which include one in Vapi, Ankleshwar, Panoli, Vatva, Odhav and other industrial areas are not able to meet the norms prescribed by the GPCB," Prajapati said. "We therefore demand stop on effluent discharge at these CETPs immediately," he said.
Prajapati had obtained data on CETPs from GPCB under Right To Information (RTI) Act. Another environment activist Michael Mazgaonkar said that the CETP, which treats effluent from industries in Sarigam of Valsad, has been given notice by the GPCB.
June 05 2010
Vapi: Caught in a toxic chokehold
AHMEDABAD: Vapi in south Gujarat is considered a hellhole. A thick layer of black is permanently settled on the road shoulders near industrial estates, the air is thick with coal dust and a pungent bitter-almond smell. One dare not look at the open drains here on certain days they overflow with a deep brown sludge a heady mix of chemicals and sewage that creates a toxic froth.
Recently, enviroment minister Jairam Ramesh called Vapi the most polluted town in the country. Forbes and Time magazines have listed it among the 10 most polluted towns in the world. Its three life streams Damanganga, Kolak and Balitha no longer resemble a water body. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has in fact categorized both the Damanganga and Kolak rivers unfit to support life. The pollution has affected 71,000 residents living in 12 villages.
Forbes in 2008 wrote, “Vapi’s groundwater is reported to be polluted 96 times higher than the World Health Organization’s health standards; in addition, local agricultural produce can contain up to 60 times more heavy metals.” The nearby union territory of Daman is laying a Rs 47 crore pipeline from the Madhuban dam by next year to source water due to increasing pollution in Damanganga river.
On March 15 this year the director MoEF, S K Agarwal asked Gujarat to stop approving new factories in Vapi Industrial estate till August 2010, till issues are resolved. The town, which has 1,500 units, topped the list of 35 industrial clusters that were critically polluted in the Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index. This was based on a report of the CPCB regarding the central effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) in Vapi which showed the treated outlet water on certain occasions was more polluted than the inlet from factories!
“The Vapi Industrial Association (VIA) and the CETP has failed to regulate its members. Critical values of chemical oxygen demand, biologicaloxygen demand, ammonical nitrogen, oil residues exceeded GPCB norms,” says environmental activist Rohit Prajapati.
Gujarat Pollution Control Board member secretary R G Shah says, “Illegal dumping of hazardous waste was a problem which we have tackled. In terms of CETP operations there is some improvement. It will take some time before we can say that Vapi is sanitized.”
“Due to expansions in several units the existing capacity of CETP treating 55 million litres a day (MLD) was increased to 70 MLD. Today, Vapi is reportedly being given an exclusive 16.5km deep sea pipeline to dispose 100 MLD of treated effluent into the sea,” says Vapi industrial association president Mahesh Pandya.
5 June 2010,
The Times of India
Life near Pokharan: the people of the fallout - In Khetolai, the village closest to the Pokhran nuclear test site, cancer is felling people and cattle. No one cares.