NGT Asks PCMC to Submit Report on Pavana River Pollution

After taking suo motu action about pollution in the Pavana River in Pimpri-Chinchwad, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), ordered the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to submit a detailed action report about the pollution in Pavana River. The case was registered by NGT, based on a News Report published in Hindustan Times on February 26.

Pavana River which originates south of Lonavla from the Western Ghats and flows from around 24 km. through Pimpri-Chinchwad city is a major source of drinking water in the area. Nearly 80 percent of drinking water for residents of Pimpri-Chinchwad comes from the Pavana River. The river has been classified into four stretches encompassing Pimpri, Chinchwadgaon, Ravet and Sangavi.

Earlier, there was low pollution recorded in Pavana River. However, since 2023, pollution levels have seen a significant increase. This situation reached a high point when, for the first time in its history, the river reported Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) above 30 mg/l. This has brought the river into ‘priority 1’ or the most polluted category.

These categories are decided as per the guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Hindustan Times reported this issue in February, 2024 and based on that news article, the principal bench of the tribunal took suo motu action and registered a case in this regard.

In the recent hearing held on April 5, the quorum consisted of justice Prakash Shrivastava, chairperson, NGT and Senthil Vel, an expert member. For this hearing, advocate Mukesh Verma represented the MPCB, and Suman Arora represented the CPCB. In this hearing, the MPCB submitted a report about pollution observations for the Pavana River and steps taken by the board.

As per findings, the board mentioned that the BOD parameter exceeded 30 mg/l at Pimpri Station on December 5, 2023, and at Kasarwadi Station on January 8, 2024.

Also, treated effluent from sewage treatment plants of PCMC is not meeting the consented standards and substandard effluent is being discharged into Pavana River. Untreated domestic effluent is being discharged through various nullahs into the Pavana River from the PCMC area.

The report also contained the brief response of the PCMC that steps have been taken to strengthen the sewage network and a new interceptor line has been laid down.

Based on this response report by MPCB, the board has directed the PCMC to file a detailed report covering all the aspects relating to sources of river pollution, and the remedial actions which have been taken/proposed by the PCMC and why most of the STPs are not functioning and are exceeding the parameters. This case has been transferred to the western zonal Bench of NGT and the next hearing will be held on May 21, 2024.


Image credit: HT PHOTO

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