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Prevent use of groundwater by Vadodara industries: NGO


Vadodara: A city-based NGO has written to the Ministry of Environment and Forest and the Central Pollution Control Board requesting them to prevent the use of groundwater by industries in Vadodara.

The 55.6 km long effluent channel was commissioned in 1983 to carry “treated” effluent from industries near Vadodara to estuary of river Mahi, Gulf of Cambay. Later, from 1995 onwards, a number of polluting industries started coming up along the Effluent Channel Project (ECP).

Since 2004, the villages around the ECP have experienced groundwater contamination at alarming rates. The pollution began because of the seepage, leaching, leaking and overflowing of effluents from the ECP and later from a number of polluting industries, NGO Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti’s founder┬áRohit Prajapati said in a letter written yesterday to the MoEF, CPCB and Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB).

There have been several investigations conducted by the CPCB, GPCB and various agencies appointed by the concerned authorities which clearly pinpoint that the groundwater of villages around the ECP area is critically contaminated and needs immediate intervention by the concerned authorities to stop further pollution, Prajapati said in the letter.

There are a number of farmers who have been practising organic farming (without the use of chemical pesticides and chemical fertilisers). But, because of the groundwater pollution, they are not in a position to claim their agriculture produce as organic, he mentioned.

Animals are forced to drink the contaminated water and eat the fodder grown using polluted groundwater.

The farmers affected by groundwater contamination and pollution have not been compensated in terms of money, he said in the letter.

Prajapati demanded a lump sum adhoc payment to the affected farmers of the region and chalking out immediate short and long term plans for remedial measures to decontaminate the groundwater.

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