PCMC penalised over pollution in Pavana

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To a commoner, the condition of Pavana, which passes through Pimpri-Chinchwad, is a sordid sight given the floating hyacinth and sewage disposal through various locations. This ordeal has prompted Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to issue a notice to Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) saying it has “failed to contain the pollution”. The board, which has decried the sewage disposal, has also pointed at the dead fish that were found floating near Kejudevi barrage in February. Given the situation, PCMC has been asked to pay Rs 5 lakh as bank guarantee.

After learning about the dead fish, MPCB inspected the riverbed. The pollution board came across leakages in sewage lines at more than five locations. Further, hyacinth growth had escalated, blocking the sunlight required for other aquatic important plants and fish to survive.

On February 27, the MPCB sent a notice to PCMC under section 33A of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, ordering immediate measures to contain the pollution. The civic body collected samples, which after investigation, displayed a large quantity of nitrate and phosphate. It was later found out that these chemicals were released by laundry companies. Three such firms were slapped with notices.

Dilip Khedekar, MPCB regional head, said, “The PCMC was found at fault as the sewage pipelines were broken and some locations did not even have them. Thus, the sewage water was being released into the river, directly. The decision was taken during the hearing of this case and they are asked to take immediate measures to clear the issue. The PCMC has assured that such a circumstance will not recur.”

MD Nikam, the joint city engineer of PCMC, claimed to have repaired the sewage lines according to the directions of the pollution board and have not yet received the notice. “The lines were installed 15 years ago and have aged. The lines near the river bank don’t have concrete support due to the presence of soil at the base. As it (soil) erodes, the position of the chamber changes and then, the water leaks through the open joints,” he said.

PCMC environment department head, Sanjay Kulkarni had immediately relayed the MPCB instructions to the drainage department. “They have informed us about the various locations, where the sewage water lines had leakages. They have been fixed on priority. PCMC’s health department is at present removing the hyacinth,” he added.



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