Gobar Times
Open Forum

End of an Estuary

MORE BPs IN OUR BACKYARD?

While public attention remain riveted on mega disasters, our coastal habitat is being poisoned. Slowly but relentlessly.

‘Treated effluents’ of over 200 Pharmaceutical and Chemical industries, a bubbly of toxins?

Once, the R. Mahi - now a mere sludge stream flowing slowly and steadily into the Gulf of Khambhat.

 

The oil spill of BP rig at the gulf of Mexico was one of the biggest natural disasters of recent time. The global media went agog when the news of the BP oil spill was first splashed around the world. Different environment activists groups also got quite vocal about the environmental implications of the spill. It was called ‘the biggest marine environmental disaster’.

Closer home, we had two ships MSC Chitra and MV Khalija , colliding into each other which threw about 200 cargo containers into the sea – spilling approx. 400 tonnes of oil, diesel and lubricant into the Arabian Sea.These accidents receive a lot of media attention, but what about ‘everyday’ industrial pollution? Why isnt SOMEBODY held responsible? Why is it not worthy of 24/7 news?

   A murder is announced    

A fragile estuary is being choked to death in the Western coasts. We present to you the shocking visuals of this ongoing homicide. The most widely accepted definition of an estuary is:

“A semi-enclosed coastal body of water, which has a free connection with the open sea, and within which sea water is measurably diluted with freshwater derived from land drainage.

” But the scenario in this particular site is rather different. A huge sewage pipe is visible at one end and a stream of murky brown and sluggish effluents flows steadily into the sea. The victim here is the estuary of river Mahisagar that drains into the Gulf of Khambhat at Bharuch, Gujarat. It is beginning to show the classic symtoms of slow poisonong. The Effluent Channel Project Ltd. (ECPL) which begins at Dhanora Point, Baroda district, and ends at the J-point in Bharuch district provides for an outlet for discharge of effluents of over 200 industrial plants.

All these plants belong either to pharmaceuticals or chemicals industry. All these companies are known polluters. They have set up shop there because the ECPL provided them the necessary infrastructure, a 55.30 km long canal for waste disposal that carries their ‘treated effluents’ into the sea. Fertile agricultural land was acquired and cleared for these industrial plants. Farmers used to use the effluent as a fertilizer in the early days, but now they find it ‘too dirty’.

 

Who said Pollution could not make a pretty picture? We have here- The Sea, the Sunset and … the Sewage pipe!

Avicenna officinalis - a lone shrub, once a Mangrove forest …

Signs of ‘Life’ in a dead Habitat

A policy to pollute?

We are often told that lack of infrastructure in critically polluted areas cause increased levels of industrial pollution but in a bizarre twist, in this case the ‘infrastructure’ has caused increased toxic levels of pollution and is the cause of environmental degradation!

Chiteisri Devi

 

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More BPs in our backyard?