Intro: Ground water up to 150 feet gets polluted, over 250 villages severely affected, 300 people died of cancer and water born diseases. Panic in villages, administration and the State government still in slumber.
Rising pollution level in three major rivers of Western Uttar Pradesh—Hindon, Krishna and Kali, which originate from Saharanpur district—has severely affected the life in Western Uttar Pradesh. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) too has conceded to the reality that the waters of these rivers is gravely polluted from Saharanpur to NOIDA. The examination of Krishna River water revealed that it contains 0.12 mg lead and 3.5 mg chromium per litre. The presence of these deadly pollutants has polluted the ground water level up to 120 ft. turning its colour to yellow and rendering it useless for human and animal consumption. It is unsafe for irrigation also.
However, the people of 200-250 villages of Saharanpur District are forced to use the hugely polluted water of Hindon River for the last one decade. During this period, around 300 people have died due to various illnesses caused by this polluted water. Baba Mangalgiri undertook fast on this issue on a number of occasions, but nobody took the matter seriously. Local media also raised the issue regularly but neither the authorities nor the government found time to even visit the affected villages with any immediate remedy. The prominent villages which are severely affected are Bhagwanpur, Shabbirpur, Shimlana, Bargaon, Chiraun, Kutubmajara, Nanhera Kalan, Katla, Peepali, Lukadadi, Jhabiran, Sisauni, Sawantkheri, Chandrapur, Nanhera Khurd, Bahera, Ratanhedi, Miyan, Khudabakshpur, Majra, etc.
In its upstream, the Hindon River remains almost dry except for the rainy season. The water that flows in it throughout the year contains mainly the domestic and industrial waste. Saharanpur alone contributes for 100 MLD domestic waste water flow. There is 38 MLD sewage treatment plant from where the purified and unpurified water is released in Hindon through Dhamola River near Sadhauli Hariya Village.
The 78-km long Krishna River has its source in the north-west highlands in Krishni Village. The river merges with the Hindan near Bagpat. There is no natural water flow but the polluted domestic and sewage water from Nanauta town, cooperative sugar mills, distilleries, and SMC Foods Limited Plant. The 75-km long Kali River has its source in Dhanakpur in Uttarakhand and merges with the Hindan near Pithlokhar Village on Meerut border traversing through Saharanpur and Muzaffarnagar. The river carries polluted water from Deoband and Triveni Sugar Mill plant.
After the media hype, the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav noticed the matter of untimely death of 300 people in Saharanpur circle due to polluted water. The State Planning Board also took cognisance. The Planning Board has constituted a committee under Prof Dr Sudhir Panwar of the Lukhnow University. The panel collected samples of the polluted Hindon water from Chiraun and Savantkhedi villages, and those of Krishna River from Banera Khemchand. Dr Panwar was accompanied by SDM Deoband Shri Rajesh Singh, SDM Rampur Maniharan Shri Hiralal Yadav and Regional Pollution Control Board’s Shri RK Singh Yadav and Dr Dinesh Chandra Pandey.
Dr Panwar gathered the information regarding water pollution in the villages in depth and understood its ill-effects from the people. People are restive due to inaction to check the pollution. Very recently, 12 people died of polluted water in Saharanpur District alone. Villagers in Banera Khemchandr are agitated for some time due to carelessness by the local administration and the State government.
Dr Panwar held a meeting with District Collector Dr Indraveer Singh and with managers of sugar mills and industries to find out ways and means to check pollution and resolve the problem. Dr Panwar said the State government has its responsibility and commitment to the people and therefore, it cannot shirk from its responsibility. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav, Central Pollution Control Board, National Green Tribunal and UP Planning Board are worried because of the pollution of Hindon and other rivers. Akhilesh government is committed to provide fresh potable water to pollution affected villagers. Cooperation from all concerned agencies is expected in this endeavour.
DM Indraveer Singh directed the Water Supply Department officers to make arrangements to provide clean drinking water to the villagers. Dr Panwar pointed out that the industries are not paying heed to the rules and regulations for water treatment and releasing polluted water in the river. He urged the DM to conduct a probe into it and review the scheme and take punitive action against the guilty. He assured the media that he would submit his report on ensuring clean water supply to the planning board as early as possible.
Dr Panwar further said the pollution of these major rivers of the region and depleting ground water level, shortage of clean potable water, and poisonous water have been the causes of worry for the people. He said the farmers are more dependent on tubewells for irrigating their fields. But the depleting ground water level has been the major cause of worry. The planning board is trying to tackle this problem at the highest level priority with the help of experts and scientists. Dr Panwar also said the Planning Board is of the view to provide healthcare facilities to maximum people. He is reviewing the health care services at PHCs and CHCs.
There have been deaths due to cancer in villages along the banks of Krishna River. There are many patients who are suffering either from cancer or other similar deadly diseases. Cancer took the toll of four within a fortnight, while some others are suffering from serious ailments. Bablu (31) son of Mohar Singh died of cancer recently in Banera Khemchand Village. He is survived by four daughters and a son. Bablu’s parents also died of cancer about years back. Now within a fortnight two more people, Rajpla and Sureshwati, in the same village died of cancer. Now Puran Singh (50), Lakshmi Chandra, Ompal, Harpal, Palla and Buddhu of the same village are suffering from serious ailments. Similarly, Shyamu Prajapati (55) of Sawantkheri died of cancer recently. According to Village Pradhan Jagpal Singh, Satpal son of Baru also died of cancer a month back. Many people have died of hepatitis, while some are suffering. Similarly, a person, Birja from Chiraun Village also died of cancer on May 28. This has created a panic in more than 300 villages which are severely affected due to water pollution.
The problem of pollution has assumed serious form in the region. The release of domestic and industrial waste into the rivers has caused serious damage to the surrounding environment. Indiscriminate felling of trees, reduction in forest green cover, has threatened the environment and life system. This has posed a grave danger to the entire
humanity. –Surender Singhal from Deoband