Talcher: It has been eight years since the State government promised a waste water treatment plant in the industrial city of Talcher to treat the discharge which is being dumped into Brahmani River, the second longest river in the State. The project is yet to see the light of the day as lakhs of city denizens continue to live under pollution threat.
A ground zero report by OTV has revealed that pollution in Brahmani River is at alarming level in Talcher. Sewage and garbage from the town and discharge of effluents from Talcher industrial complex flow into main streams and then into the river. Conspicuously the local administration draws water for the city residents from a spot where the discharge stream meets the river.
As per the guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Board, the State government had promised a waste water treatment project for the river way back in 2009. Later the then Urban Development Minister laid foundation stone for the plant in 2015, but the work is yet to begin.
Meanwhile, city residents, wary of the pollution level in the river seek immediate government attention into the matter.
“Residents of all the 21 wards of the city use water pumped from the spot, which is just 50 feet away from a point where discharge stream meets the river. Therefore, several diseases like Jaundice plague people throughout the year. We have sought intervention of the State government and pollution board,” a local said.
Environmentalists also show concern over the high level of pollution. “Brahmani river and Talcher city would only survive from the looming pollution threat if the administration sets up a treatment plant. It should also make technical arrangements to discharge wastes at downstream areas of the river,” Swapnashree Sarangi, an environmentalist said.
On the other hand, the administration has said that action will be taken on basis of the pollution level report.
“A case has been lodged under section 133 of the CrPC for polluting air and water. We have sought a report from the State pollution control board about the extent of pollution in the river and action will be taken thereafter,” Talcher Sub-collector Mihir Prasad Mohanty said.