Cuttack: The rising level of pollution in Kathajodi and Mahanadi rivers here due to the direct discharge of sewage from industries and urban local bodies has become a concern for the residents of the millennium city.
According to an OTV ground report at Canal Bridge, Khannagar, waste water from the city was incessantly being released into Kathajodi River. As a result, the river water in the said area had turned black. Similar was the case in Mahandi River near Jobra.
Locals alleged use of the water from the river has been causing skin-related diseases, diarrhoea and other ailments. Repeated complaints to Cuttack district administration has fallen on deaf ears, they further stated.
“Not only Khannagar, the residents of low lying areas like 42 Mouza and Urali are also getting affected because of the polluted river water. The government should come up with a plan to stop release of industrial waste into the rivers at the earliest lest it becomes a reason of medical emergency for those who sustain with the water from these rivers,” said a resident of Khannagar, Prafulla Sahu.
“Consumption of the polluted water has been a reason of skin diseases among the residents in the locality,” alleged Ramesh, another localite.
Though there were plans to establish a sewage treatment plant, nothing has come off as yet.
Environment campaigner Biswajit Mohanty said, “This is the result of the aimlessness of the government. A sewerage treatment plant is the only way out but the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) is yet to initiate any step in this regard. The authorities concerned resort to blame game saying that JICA work is underway. JICA work is on since the last 10 years and what if it continues for another decade?”
Speaking to OTV, CMC Commissioner Ananya Dash stated, “In order to separate the drainage and sewerage water, JICA project was taken up in Cuttack and is still underway. The sewerage treatment plant is being built at Matagajpur from where the sewage water will get treated and be discharged to the rivers. The drain lines will only carry storm water,” informed Das. She however, did not respond to the health issues residents face owing to the rampant disposal of sewage into the rivers.