Industrial effluents polluting Gujarat rivers, says forum

Pollution contents were 300 to 1,000 per cent more than the norms

The Gujarat Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, a voluntary organisation working for environmental protection, has come out with startling facts on how the badly treated industrial effluents are being dumped in the major rivers in the State and in the sea.

The rivers include the Narmada, Mahisagar, Sabamarti and Damanganga and the sea outlet is in the Gulf of Cambay.

Samiti convener Rohit Prajapati said all the shocking figures about the pollution contents in the sewage disposal had been obtained from the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) and the Central Pollution Control Board through the Right to Information Act.

He said that in most cases it was found that the pollution contents were about 300 per cent to over 1,000 per cent more than the norms set by the GPCB and even the effluent treatment plants set up by the State or the Central governments were malfunctioning dumping huge quantities of pollutants in the rivers or the sea as well as afflicting the local population.

He pointed out that in the wake of the Bhopal gas disaster when many affected people and voluntary organisations approached the court of law, the government woke up to the situation and at the intervention of the courts, tried to enforce measures for the treatment of effluents before discharging them in the public places.

But under pressure from the industries, the “polluter pays” theory was given the go-by and in most of the cases the industrial units discharging pollutants were made to pay only 20 per cent of the cost with the remaining 80 per cent coming from the general tax payers, the State and Central government funds and the financial institutions.

The industrial houses did not even bother to maintain the treatment plants or expand its capacity when the load increased. The GPCB kept on issuing notices, but no one ever bothered about violation of its norms and the Board remained a silent spectator doing nothing to make the industrial houses bend.

A legal notice issued by the GPCB to a waste and effluent management company at Sarigam in Bulsar district show the helplessness of the government-controlled body.

The notice, issued on December 4 last, pointed out that the concentrations such as the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Chloride, Ammoniacal Nitrogen, Phenolic Compound, Sulphides, Zinc and other pollutants in the effluents dumped in Tadgam village were much higher than the prescribed norms of the Board.

And yet neither any remedial measure had so far been taken by the company nor did the board take any follow-up action.

The GPCB sources admitted that the wastes discharged in the Damanganga from the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CEPT) of the industrial houses in Vapi contained 347 per cent more COD, 432 per cent more TDS and 196 per cent more Ammoniacal Nitrogen, a serious health hazard, compared to the GPCB prescribed norms.

The conditions were worse in Ankleshwar which carry into the Gulf of Cambay 248 per cent more COD and 1,328 per cent more Ammoniacal Nitrogen.

The effluent channel project of Vadodara dumping waste water into the estuary of the Mahisagar was found to be carrying 300 to 700 per cent more than the prescribed norms of COD, BOD, Ammoniacal Nitrogen, TDS, Cyanide, phenols and other hazardous pollutants.

The pollution contents in the effluents dumped in the Sabarmati from the industrial estates in Vatva, Odhav and Naroda around Ahmedabad city were found to be alarmingly high, 2,926 per cent more of COD, 2,520 per cent more of Ammoniacal Nitrogen and 780 per cent more of TDS.

The much-touted Rs.131-crore Final Effluent Treatment Plant (FETP) — constructed with the State and the Central governments and the State-owned Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation contributing over Rs.109 crore and the defaulting industries a mere Rs.21 crore, and inaugurated by Chief Minister Narendra Modi in January 2007 for treatment of water wastes of Ankleshwar, Panoli and Jhagadia chemical industrial estates — was found to be equally in a pathetic condition.


Global warming likely to impact rainfall patterns

Climate models project that the global average temperature will rise about 1 degree C by mid-century, if we continue with business as usual and emit greenhouse gases.

A boy walks past smoke rising from an industry on the outskirts of Guwahati. Photo: AP

The global average, though, does not tell us anything about what will happen to regional climates.

Analysing global model warming projections in models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a team headed by meteorologist Shang-Ping Xie at the University of Hawaii finds that ocean temperature patterns in the tropics and sub-tropics will change in ways that will significantly alter rainfall patterns.

Scientists have mostly assumed that the surfaces of oceans will warm rather evenly in the tropics. This assumption has led to “wetter-gets-wetter” and “drier-gets-drier” regional rainfall projections.

Xie’s team has gathered evidence that, although ocean surface temperatures can be expected to increase mostly everywhere by mid-century, the increase may differ by up to 1.5degreesC depending upon the region.

“Compared to the mean projected rise of 1degreesC, such differences are fairly large and can have a pronounced impact on tropical and subtropical climate by altering atmospheric heating patterns and therefore rainfall,” explains Xie.

“Our results broadly indicate that regions of peak sea surface temperature will get wetter, and those relatively cool will get drier,” adds Xie, according to the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The study is slated for publication in the Journal of Climate this month.


Experts suggest ways to check global warming

At the ‘National Science Day’ celebrations

DINDIGUL: Alternate fuel, common transport system, energy efficiency, extension of green cover and change in life style are essential to prevent global warming and to make the world the best place for all species including humans to live.

Reuse of shopping bags, travelling only when necessary, purchase of fresh vegetables every day, use of CFL are some meaningful measures to be taken by individuals to check global warming.

These were highlighted by experts at the ‘National Science Day’ celebrations held at Gandhigram Rural University at Gandhigram near here on Wednesday.

In his inaugural address, Professor A.R. Santhakumar, IIT Chennai, cautioned that a one-metre increase in sea level would affect six million people in the US and 183 million in India and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh would be worst affected owing to lack of adaptive capacity.

Developing countries were more vulnerable to global warming than developed nations.

Global warming had been intensified only after industrial revolution. In the last 20 years, there was a sharp rise in temperature.


Flood in uncommon areas, drought in rainy areas, migration of butterflies from south to north, death of penguins and polar bears, destruction of coral reefs, increase in temperatures of surface area and rain in Arctic area were strong evidences for global warming, he pointed out.

In his special address, S.R. Ramanan, Director of Regional Cyclone Warning Centre argued that global warming in India was mainly due to rapid urbanisation and turning cities into concrete jungles rather than emission of gases.

Temperature in Raj Bhavan area in Chennai was four degree less than the temperature that prevailed in other parts of the city only because of the extensive green cover. Sharp increase in heat would create more high intensive cyclones, he cautioned.

Slump in food production, increase in drought hit areas and rise in sea level would be some of the worst impacts of global warming.

Eco-friendly design for housing with less cement covered areas, energy efficiency, stringent industrial standards, clean technologies, change in lifestyle, car pools, better public transport facility, maximum use of solar power were some measures to be taken to control global warming, he advised.


Pune: Industrialists oppose ban on plastic bags

The Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) has opposed the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) resolution for a 100 per cent ban on use of plastic bags.

At a press meet they said the civic body’s resolution is contradictory to the existing rules of the state government. They said that ‘neither the BPMC act nor any other provisions of law empowers the municipal corporations to pass a resolution effecting a total ban on the use of all categories of plastic bags”.

The MCCIA listed that various notifications by the government clearly addresses this issue. The notification on September 2, 1999 on the use of plastic carry-bags under which conditions of manufacturers of carry-bags were specified wherein it is stated that a minimum thickness of carry-bags made of virgin plastic or recycled plastic shall not be less than 20 microns.

This came into effect after the notification on August 10, 2000. The rules even after amendment on June 17, 2003 titled ‘Recycled plastic manufacture and usage amendment rules 2003’ clearly mentions that the relevant rules stipulated restrictions on manufacture, sale, distribution and use of plastic and recycled plastic carry bags and recycled plastic containers stating that no person shall manufacture, stock, distribute or sell carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic bags which are less than 20 into 30 cms in size. The Maharashtra plastic carry bags manufacture and usage rules 2006 mentions that plastic or recycled plastic shall not be less than 50 microns and of size 20 to 30 cms.

From Indian Express

South Africa To Overhaul Industrial Policy To Reduce CO2 Emissions

South Africa needs to rennovate its industrial policy in order to address the relation between economic growth and fossil fuel consumption, reported all, quoting an energy researcher.

South Africa is the most carbon-intensive economies, as per its per capita emission of greenhouse gases. According to Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) the South African economy is 5 to 0 times less carbon efficient than the US, the UK or Japan, along with China.

Chart describing about Co2 level in Africa

Chart describing about Co2 level in Africa

The government of South Africa has plans to diversify its energy mix and has set targets to reduce emission, whihc is being hampered by high costs, while electricity tariffs do not reflect the cost of generation.

Alan Brent, a sustainable energy researcher with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, said: “We could not do it, it was impossible and this is an issue that needs to be addressed through industrial policy. We are going to the Copenhagen conference in December and we are inevitably going to move into a carbon constraint environment.”

The WWF’s Saliem Fakir, said: “SA needs a dual strategy for economic growth. On the one hand we have to recognise that we have a high dependency on fossil fuels and on the other we need to look at the energy sector from a supply, demand a growth point of view.”

By Energy Business Review