Coastal Pollution: Odisha’s Dhamra in top-5, Paradip in top-10

The Water Quality Index has hoisted the 'Red' colour to label the coastal waters at Paradip and Dhamra as 'poor' and 'very poor', respectively

Bhubaneswar: Never ever try to live by the philosophy of US philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson – live in Sunshine, swim the sea and drink the wild air – in the coastal waters of Paradip and Dhamra in Odisha.

Because, the coastal waters here are polluted to the core. The latest Water Quality Index has ‘hoisted’ the ‘Red’ colour to label the coastal waters at Paradip and Dhamra as ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’, respectively.

As per the Coastal Water Quality Index (WQI) released recently, the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) has found the waters at Dhamra faring worst in four of the six indicators and Paradip in three. Both failed to earn a good rating in any single parameter.

In fact, the waters at Dhamra figured among the worst five polluted coastal stretches in the country, which is led by Veraval (Gujarat). Pardaip coastal region figured among the top-10 polluted seas in the country.

It needs mentioning that  NCCR brings out a WQI of 23 coastal regions spread across the country.

The WQI presents a very alarming pollution level in seawaters at Paradip and Dhamra. Take any parameter, the result looks simply disastrous that raises many pertinent questions over the sustainability of the marine ecosystem in the region.

And the culprit is none other than the human intervention that lets the municipal wastes (sewage) and industrial effluents disposal into the sea waters.

The WQI shows Dhamra very poor in Oxygen content in its coastal waters. And decline in Oxygen has been due to uncontrolled discharge of nutrients like Nitrogen and Phosporous (present in industrial effluents and agriculture run-offs) into the sea. The reduced rate of oxygen supply will have a grave consequence on marine ecosystem.

The oxygen content has a reduced presence in Paradip sea waters too, however, NCCR tags it as moderate.

In the parameters of BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand), Nitrogen nutrient quantity and faecal coliform, Dhamra coastal waters are rated as very poor.

Paradip coastal waters secured very poor in the indicator of faecal coliform (a bacteria called E Coli that is present in human excreta).

The very poor rating of Dhamra and Paradip in faecal coliform indicator reveals poor solid municipal waste management in the two coastal zones.

Therefore, the time is up for the State administration to take steps before its too late to vision the azure sea waters in future.