‘Pollution norms flouted in effluent treatment facilities’

Friday, June 4, 2010

AHMEDABAD - Effluent treatment facilities set up with central and state subsidies across the length of the Golden Industrial Corridor from Ahmedabad to Vapi in south Gujarat bordering Maharashtra do not conform to pollution norms in Gujarat, an NGO said Friday.

Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti demanded an immediate stoppage of ‘treated’ effluent being discharged into rivers or the sea to prevent pollution of water sources.

Rohit Prajapati of the Samiti, who released detailed statistical data of scientific tests carried out by them at all these facilities, said the results denote pollution of a high order which is in flagrant violation of the established norms.

“Most of these Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) have been set up with public money with 25 percent state subsidy, 25 percent central subsidy, 30 percent loans from financial institutions with the polluting industrial units just picking up 20 percent of the total costs,” he told reporters.

“Yet it is the public which suffers when polluting effluents are discharged into water bodies,” he added.

The Samiti pointed out that all the effluent plants in the industrial estates set up with huge investments in Vapi in Valsad district, Ankleshwar, Panoli and Nandesari in Vadodara district, and Vatva, Odhav and Narol (all in Ahmedabad) are not able to meet the prescribed Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) norms.

Demanding strong action from the GPCB under environment laws against all these facilities, it said “we strongly feel that no effluent discharge should be allowed from any of these facilities with immediate effect”.

Prajapati said the newest such projects, the Final Effluent Treatment Plant (FETP) put up at a cost of Rs 131.43 crore in Gujarat, has failed to fulfil its intended purpose.

Out of the total project cost, the industries paid only Rs.21.75 crore (about 17 percent); the rest of the tab (Rs.109 crore) was picked up by the central government, Gujarat government, and Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) - all of which ultimately draw from public money.

Filed under: Environment

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