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Textile units blamed for polluting Luni River

Apr 16, 2021
Textile units blamed for polluting Luni River

Barmer, Rajasthan

A major problem for Rajasthan’s Barmer District is the continuous pollution of groundwater and the adjoining Luni River at Bhituja Industrial Area.A joint committee formed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has reported this problem (made public on April 12, 2021) to be caused by the textile units in the area, said a report by DownToEarth.

The committee learned that the Bhituja’s Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) was unfit for treating bleaching unit effluents. With a connection of around 191 textile units, the CETP fails to follow the prescribed discharge standards notified by the Union Ministry of Environment, Foresta and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) in 2016.

A committee formed by members from MoEF&CC, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) initiated an investigation.

What was found by the RSPCB?

 The biological oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand were much higher than the prescribed standards of 30 and 250 milligrams per litre, respectively.

  • Treatment unavailability to decrease the total dissolved solids (TDS) to the prescribed standards.
  • Pre-effluent treatment (settling tanks) given by each unit was incapable of controlling the total suspended solids (TSS).
  • Increase in CETP’s TSS load, due to muck from tanks being pumped and flown into it. This results in a deposition of solid nature in the waste stabilisation ponds of the plant.
  • At the site, all three Solar Evaporation Ponds (SEPs) were found to be completely filled and the stagnant effluent was leaking into the Luni River, which lies to the plant’s south.
  •  Treated effluents from the bleaching units were not being recycled by the CETP, increasing the hydraulic load on SEPs.

A CETP official in a statement to DownToEarth stated that the upgrade will assist in settling the suspended solids efficiently at the clariflocculator unit. The committee also suggested that to prevent further damage, no relaxation should be permitted to textile industries concerning the prescribed standards for the total or fixed dissolved solids.

Source: DownToEarth

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