Skip to main content

Will Govt of India condone discharge of untreated effluents from Gujarat industry?

Broken FETP pipeline polluting nearby areas
By Rohit Prajapati*
For the past fortnight, the pipeline of the Final Effluent Treatment Plant (FETP) of the Narmada Clean Tech Ltd (NCTL) of Ankleshwar is again leaking with its breakage at the Ankleshwar-Amboli road next to Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) camp. The consistent violation of the prescribed norms of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) by the FETP operated by NCTL since its inception is publicly well known. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) should clarify which law of the land sanctions the discharge of effluents that do not meet the prescribed norms of the GPCB. Alternatively, it would appear, by allowing the FETP to operate despite inability to perform within legal norms, the NCTL’s continued violation of the environment laws of the nation is being condoned.
The violation of environmental laws is supported by the investigation results of CPCB from 2007 to 2014, and even of NCTL results from 2013 to 2014 (click APPENDIX for investigation results). The NCTL, formerly known as Bharuch Eco Aqua Infrastructure Ltd. (BEAIL), earlier a private company, is now a subsidiary company of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC). The GIDC is a statutory corporation and 100 per cent owned by the Government of Gujarat. The NCTL is also a joint venture of member industries of Ankleshwar, Jhagadia and Panoli industrial estates.
The NCTL claims that the objective is to receive treated industrial effluent from Ankleshwar, Jhagadia and Panoli industrial estates, common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) and to “treat” it at the Final Effluent Treatment Plant (FETP) up to prescribed norms of the GPCB, and then to convey it through 52.76 km pipeline into the sea. The industries located in Ankleshwar, Panoli and Jhagadia GIDC estates treat their effluent in their Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP), and then, after giving further treatment at the FETP at Ankleshwar, discharge the effluent into the sea. The FETP, from its inception till date, does not work as per the prescribed norms set by the GPCB.
In part due to the FETP’s inability to treat effluent, in July 7, 2007, the GPCB, on the directions from the CPCB, imposed a moratorium on the industrial areas of Ankleshwar, Panoli and Jhagadia. The moratorium is in force even today, since there has been no substantial improvement in the pollution levels even after the implementation of the so-called ‘action plans’ prepared by these estates.
Shockingly and surprisingly, the same plant’s disposal pipeline project was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi, now Prime Minister of India, on January 25, 2007. By inaugurating this plant, Modi sent out a message to the industries and new investors that compliance with environment laws in the state was not matter of a concern.
Why did Modi inaugurate the FETP pipeline project despite its non-compliance with the GPCB norms? We will never know, because the records were destroyed.
In reply to my RTI application to the chief minister’s office (CMO) dated April 23, 2010 about the inauguration of FETP by Modi, his office responded that the information sought by me is “about the period before date January 25, 2007 and the government’s term was over in December 2007 and after new government came in as per our working method, old records were destroyed so demanded information cannot be made available to you.”
It is difficult to believe that a so-called responsible and publicly accountable office such as the CMO, especially with its emphasis on “transparent and effective public governance”, would destroy official records of public importance, even while Modi continue to be the chief minister in the consecutive term. With its emphasis on ‘information technology’ in governance, the soft copies of the correspondence should be present in the some official data bank, or one would assume that the CMO deliberately withholds or denies information that should be in public realm and the then Chief Minister’s public accountability stands questioned.
Why does the CMO want to hide this information? What is the state policy on destruction of records? Under what rules or laws such critical documents have been, as officially claimed, destroyed?
The pipeline project of the FETP of Ankleshwar was built with tax payers’ money. Out of the total project cost of Rs 131.43 crore, the industries paid only Rs 21.75 crore (about 17 per cent); the rest of the amount (Rs 109 crore) was borne by the Government of India, the Gujarat government and the GIDC – all of which ultimately draw from public money. It is a familiar story: The profits are distributed privately, but the institutional costs and environmental burden are borne by general public. Can we find a better example of privatization of profits and socialization of costs, burdens and hazards? Why does the government charge the cost to tax payers when industries pollute?
The pipeline, 52.97 km which carries the effluent from the NCTL to the sea for discharge regularly, gets broken, and that lead to illegal discharge into Amla Khadi (which at the end meets the Narmada river) as also into the farms lands of the farmers of various villagers. A letter dated January 7, 2011 was sent to the then Chief Minister and concerned state authorities by giving repeated complains of the farmers are deliberately ignored.
For the last fortnight, the pipeline is again leaking with its breakage at Ankleshwar-Amboli road, next to CISF camp. These routine phenomena should be dealt the utter seriousness. It necessary to:
1. Stop the effluent discharge from the Final Effluent Treatment Plant (FETP) of Narmada Clean Tech Ltd (NCTL) as it consistently violates the prescribed GPCB norms since its inception; the pipeline leaks effluents due to breakage at Ankleshwar – Amboli road next to CISF camp.
2. File FIR and take all the exemplary legal action against the defaulters.
3. Declare under which law of the land the illegal effluent discharge from the NCTL is allowed when it does not meet the prescribed norms of GPCB.

*Activist, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti

Comments

TRENDING

Vishwanath has been unfairly excluded from global list of 100 best cricketers

By Harsh Thakor  Gundappa Vishwanath scaled zones in batting artistry or wizardry unparalleled amongst Indian batsmen. The best of his batting was a manifestation of the divine. He was also the epitome of cricketing sportsmanship. Sadly 40 years ago he unceremoniously bid farewell to the International cricket world, after the concluding test at Karachi in 1982-83., in January end. Very hard to visualise a character like Vishwanath being reborn today His memories are embedded in cricket lovers today when sportsmanship and grace have virtually been relegated to oblivion with the game of cricket turned into a commercial commodity. Today agro and unsporting behaviour is a routine feature Vishy shimmered cricket’s spirituality. His behaviour on the cricket field was grace personified, No one in his age defined cricket more as a gentleman’s game, than Vishy. Vishwanath could execute strokes that were surreal with his steel wrists. His strokeplay resembled the touches of a painter’s brush,

Abrogation of Art 370: Increasing alienation, relentless repression, simmering conflict

One year after the abrogation by the Central Government of Art. 370 in Kashmir, what is the situation in the Valley. Have the promises of peace, normalcy and development been realised? What is the current status in the Valley? Here is a detailed note by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties , “Jammu & Kashmir: One Year after Abrogation of Art. 370: Increasing Alienation, Relentless Repression, Simmering Conflict”:

Reproductive, conjugal rights of women in India amidst debate of uniform civil code

By IMPRI Team  A Three-Day Immersive Online Legal Awareness and Certificate Training Course on “Reproductive and Conjugal Rights of Women in India” is an initiative of the Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC), at the IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, and ran for three consecutive days starting from December 22, 2022 to December 24, 2022. The online paid certification was aimed to provide attendees with an enriching experience on the gender discourse with a special focus on women’s rights and the much-discussed reproductive rights in India.

Covid jabs: Pretexts cited to justify young, healthy succumbing to heart attacks

By Jay Ihsan   Truth is stranger than fiction – when dedicated doctors raised the red flag against the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, they were persecuted and their concerns barred from being heard. These honest doctors unequivocally made it known the Moderna Pfizer vaccines injure the heart and human body. One of them, Dr Peter McCullough, an American cardiologist, has repeatedly issued the clarion call to people to reject these harmful vaccines. An equally alarmed World Council for Health said the harmful Covid-19 vaccines should be removed from the market and the global inoculation must be stopped. “In Japan the vaccines were not mandated or made compulsory. The vaccines are not safe or effective enough to mandate them. The day the vaccines go away will be a day of celebration,” Dr Mccullough had lamented during an interview with India’s media outfit, Qvive several months ago. Meanwhile, the number of people jabbed with the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines died soon after or have developed lifelong

Gender gap 17%, SC and ST levels of education between 7% to 14% below upper classes

By IMPRI Team  The treatment of school education in a holistic manner and improving school effectiveness in terms of equal opportunities for schooling and learning outcomes has been the aspiration of all and multiple challenges are faced to maintain and provide proper education. On the occasion of India@75: Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, as part of its series- the State of Education- #EducationDialogue, #IMPRI Center for ICT for Development (CICTD), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organised a special deliberation on The State of School Education In India with Prof Muchkund Dubey, who is the President of the Council for Social Development, New Delhi. The moderator for the event, Dr Simi Mehta CEO and Editorial Director of the IMPRI. The chair of the event was Prof Jandhyala B.G. Tilak, an Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) National Fellow, the Distinguished Professor at the Council for Social Development, New Delhi and also a Former Professor & Vice-Ch

Rahul Dravid exhibited selflessness in heights unscaled by any other Indian batsman

By Harsh Thakor*  On January 11th maestro Rahul Dravid turned 50. No Indian batsmen were ever more of an embodiment of temperament or grit.as Rahul Dravid. Dravid was the best ambassador of sportsmanship in cricket in his day and age. In his time no Asian batsmen did what the doctor ordered, to the extent of Dravid. Dravid was manifestation of single-mindedess, tenacity and selflessness in sport. One hardly has an adjective to the ice coolness and craft Dravid exhibited in adjusting to the given situation. Rarely did any batsmen exhibit such a clinical o methodical approach to batting.

Data analytics: How scientific enquiry process impacts quality of policy research

By IMPRI Team  Given the multidimensionality of policy and impact research, tech-driven policy prescriptions are playing a dominant role in the 21st century. As such, data analytics have become integral in this space. IMPRI Generation Alpha Data Centre (GenAlphaDC) , IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute New Delhi has successfully conducted a #WebPolicyTalk 6-Week Immersive Online Hands-on Certificate Training Course on Data Analytics for Policy Research, spanning over 6-consecutive Saturdays from October 15th to November 19th, 2022. Along with this, datasets for hands-on learning were also provided for data analysis and learning. Participants were required to make a submission for evaluation at the end of the course, to obtain the certificate. This course comprised hands-on data learning sessions and various expert sessions on data discourses. The course especially catered to data and policy enthusiasts – including students, professionals, researchers, and other individuals lo

NHRC blindly followed BSF status report on fencing farmland off Indo-Bangladesh border

Kirity Roy, Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) writes an open letter of protest against the action taken status report on restriction imposed by the BSF personnel upon the villagers of Changmari near Indo-Bangladesh border: *** I have the honour to inform you that we received one action taken status report dated 11.01.2023 from your Commission in respect of the above referred case from where it is revealed that your authority closed the case based on the report of the concerned authorities. In this connection I again raise my voice as the enquiry in respect of the above referred case was not properly conducted. Hence I submit this open letter of protest for the ends of justice. From the action taken status report of the Commission dated 11.01.2023 it is reported that concerned authority submitted a report dated 18.01.2022 where it is reported that the concerned area comes under the OPS responsibility of BOP Chengmari, 62 Bn BSF and is highly susceptible to trans-bo

Great march of migrants during lockdown: Lessons not learned, missed opportunities

By IMPRI Team  A panel discussion on “The Great March of Migrants During The National Lockdown: Lessons Not Learned and Missed Opportunities” was organized by the #IMPRI Center for Human Centre for Human Dignity and Development (CHDD), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi on the occasion of International Migrants Day, i.e December 18, 2022. Inaugurating the session, Ms Aanchal Kumari, a researcher at IMPRI, welcomed the speakers and participants to the program with an introduction to the eminent panellists. The event was moderated by Dr Devender Singh, a Visiting Senior Fellow at IMPRI. The panellists included Prof. R.B Bhagat, Professor and Head, Department of Migration and Urban Studies, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai; Prof Arun Kumar, Distinguished Economist, a Former Professor Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi and Malcolm S. Adiseshiah Chair Professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi; Ms Akriti Bhatia, Founder of People

Brutal assault on Delhi Univ students as fear grips present rulers on rise of dissent

By Arhaan Baaghi  Various democratic student organizations (bsCEM, fraternity, DSU, SIO, AIRSO) had planned a screening of the BBC documentary "India: The Modi Question" in the Delhi University Arts Faculty, but the guards of the university and the Delhi police along with paramilitary forcefully detained the students just because we were trying to watch a documentary that scrutinizes the role of Modi in 2002 Gujarat riots. At first when the students started screening the documentary, the electricity of the department building was cut down. Students were brutally beaten by the police and university guards. Female students were also brutally manhandled and beaten. This whole incident shows the Brahmanical Hindutva fascist nature of the government and the university authority that is working as its puppet. An activist of bsCEM was manhandled by a male security guard, who tried to pull out his T shirt. Also various female activist were dragged by male security guards and their h