Who will save ‘Cyanided’ Brahmani river?
Akhand in Bhubaneswar(India):
The parameters with respect to Total Suspended Solids(TSS) and Cyanide at river Brahmani in jajpur district of Odisha is higher than prescribed standard. The State Pollution Control Board(SPCB) of Odisha revealed this fact to the National Human Rights Commission(NHRC) after the direction of rights body.
This journalist, who represents an odisha based rights organization, India Media Centre, alleged before the NHRC that large scale pollution in Brahmani River which affected villagers on its bank. It has been also alleged that lives of the people in the jajpur district are miserable and the pollution caused many diseases. The agricultural production has gone down drastically which also affected livelihood of the villagers. The complainant has requested remedial action in the matter and penal action against the erring companies.
Pursuant to the directions of the Commission, the SPCB has submitted its fourteen pages report to the NHRC. It stated that after the direction of the NHRC, an inspection was conducted on July 3 by the Board. According to the inspection, Out of nine industrial units in and around Kalinga Nagar Industrial area three major companies are discharging waste water to the river Brahmani. These are Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited, Jindal Stainless Steel Limited and VISA steel Limited. The industrial effluent from the Jindal is discharged through Satabansia nallah to Ganda nallah. The effluent form VISA is discharged through Alliah nallah to Ganda nallah and effluent from Neelachal Ispat is discharged to Andhari nallah which ultimately joins with Ganda nallah and it finally joins with river Brahmani.
Earlier Board has received public complaints with respect to water pollution of Ganda nallah due to discharge of waste water by these three industries. In this matter Revenue Divisional Commissioner on his fifth meeting conducted on September 15 last year taken a decision and accordingly the Collector and District Magistrate, Jajpur has constituted one committee by involving the different officials and two members from the nearby villages for periodical monitoring the water quality of the respective nallah on quarterly basis.
Now, the analysis report by the SPCB revealed that the parameters with respect to Total Suspended Solids and Cyanide at confluence point of Satabansia nallah and Ganda nallah is higher than prescribed standard by the Board. Also cyanide content at Ganda nallah at different points were observed to be higher against prescribed standard of 0.05 mg/l. Here it is noted that standard of cyanide in surface water is 0.05 mg/l and in industrial effluent discharged to inland surface water bodies is 0.2 mg/l.
Similarly, the parameters with respect to Cyanide at outlet of Jindal and Neelachal Ispat at Ganda nallah is higher than prescribed standard, informed Dr. A. Mallick, Environment Scientist with SPCB, who was also a member of inspection team.
After this inspection SPCB has given various recommendations to these companies to follow. OPCB has asked to these companies to adopt zero discharge concept and provide storage facilities for recycle/reuse of treated effluent to the maximum extent in the premises. The Board also recommended to Jindal for using the temporary ash pond (which is lying idle) to store all seepage, leakages and excess treat effluent to avoid any discharge to Ganda nallah. But these are not worked out.
If this continues, Brahmani will be a suicidal river !