Pune: Deepak Kesarkar Urges Immediate Halt To Indrayani River Pollution, Stresses Robust Sewage Management

Pune: Deepak Kesarkar Urges Immediate Halt To Indrayani River Pollution, Stresses Robust Sewage Management

Kesarkar conveyed this during a review meeting on Indrayani river pollution held at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Mhalunge on Tuesday.

Gunwanti ParasteUpdated: Tuesday, December 26, 2023, 01:14 PM IST
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Pune: Deepak Kesarkar Urges Immediate Halt To Indrayani River Pollution, Stresses Robust Sewage Management |

Acknowledging the cultural significance of the Indrayani River, School Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar has issued directives to immediately cease the discharge of untreated sewage, emphasising the need for robust sewage management. Kesarkar conveyed this during a review meeting on Indrayani river pollution held at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Mhalunge on Tuesday.

Key attendees included MLA Uma Khapare, PMRDA Commissioner Rahul Mahiwal, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation Commissioner Shekhar Singh, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board Secretary Avinash Dhakne, and Pune Municipal Corporation Additional Commissioner Kunal Khemnar.

Kesarkar stressed the importance of preventing untreated contaminated water from entering the river, urging caution in the establishment of new sewage treatment plants while ensuring the maintenance of existing ones. He highlighted the Chief Minister's emphasis on maintaining river water cleanliness, extending concerns to the Namami Chandrabhaga project and pollution prevention in the Mula-Mutha River.

Efforts were urged to collect and treat wastewater from large housing societies, with measures to halt untreated water flowing into drains. Stringent actions were recommended against housing societies neglecting sewage treatment. Local self-government bodies were directed to prioritise wastewater management, particularly in rural areas, with separate teams formed by municipalities.

Kesarkar directed preliminary measures to prevent polluted water discharge into rivers until sewage treatment plants are established. Khapare appealed for coordinated efforts across departments to curb contaminated water flow into the river.

Dhakane emphasised the mandatory installation of sewage treatment plants for projects in areas less than 20 thousand square meters. He warned of punitive measures against officials allowing untreated water discharge into rivers from industries in Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).

PMRDA provided updates on their efforts to media during the meeting.

Indrayani's pollution woes

The river pollution issue has sparked unrest in Pune, leading various social groups to stage protests, demanding administrative action. In a recently held winter session of legislative assembly in Nagpur, Bhosari MLA Mahesh Landge raised the issue of pollution of the Indrayani and Pavana rivers.

Last month, environmental activists sought direct intervention from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation's (PCMC) environmental department of complacency. 

They urged legal action against responsible bodies like the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

These environmental advocates also engaged with Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, and the Urban Development Department to address the pressing concerns surrounding river pollution.

Recently, the MPCB has directed the environment department of the PCMC to address the issue of industrial units polluting the Indrayani river. 

This action followed Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's directive to the MPCB to tackle pollution concerns ahead of the Kartiki Wari in Alandi. Prompted by Shinde's instructions, MPCB officials inspected the Indrayani river site to identify pollution sources.

Their examination revealed the discharge of untreated toxic waste, chemicals, and untreated domestic sewage from multiple industrial units in the Chikhali and Kudalwadi areas. These units were found to be discharging untreated toxic waste and sewage directly into the river, while also contributing to air pollution through illegal waste burning. 

Primarily functioning as warehouses for various materials such as plastic, paper, rubber, iron, wood, plastic drums, and aluminium, these units were found to be directly discharging untreated wastewater from the cleaning processes into the Indrayani river.

Consequently, the PCMC has been directed to take strict measures against these non-compliant units and provide a comprehensive report to the MPCB.

The PCMC's environment department will present these findings to PCMC commissioner Shekhar Singh for further deliberation on an appropriate action plan.  

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