The main pipeline carrying effluents from industrial clusters at Ankleshwar, Panoli and Jhagadia in Bharuch district developed major breach, with most of the water being treated by the Narmada Clean Tech Limited (NCTL), a state-government-owned subsidiary of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, leaking in large quantity much before reaching its destination at the deep sea dump site at Hansol.
The site, where the pipe broke at Ankleshwar-Amboli road, is situated next to the CISF camp. The development comes even as the Centre considers lifting moratorium that was imposed on Ankleshwar industrial cluster after it violated environmental norms prescribed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), giving environmental activists enough ammunition to criticise the state government for “condoning the violation of environmental law”.
The NCTL receives treated industrial effluents from Ankleshwar, Jhagadia and Panoli industrial estates and then treats it at Final Effluent Treatment Plant (FETP) up to prescribed norms of GPCB which is then carried through a 52.76-km pipeline into the sea. The industries located at Ankleshwar, Panoli and Jhagadia GIDC estates treat their effluents in their Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) and then, after giving further treatment at the “Final Effluent Treatment Plant” (FETP) at Ankleshwar, discharge the effluents into the sea. The moratorium on the three GIDCs in the region was imposed on July 7, 2007 after FETPs were found unable to treat effluent which continues.
Chief operating office of NCTL, K R Desai said that the pipeline was broken because of the construction of a wall at the CISF camp nearby. “A water pipeline of the Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board running perpendicular to our pipe broke that caused soil to erode and the coupling of the pipe to come out. We could not repair it on time due to rains, but will do so as rains have ceased,” Desai said. “The 52.97-kilometre-long pipeline, which carries the effluents from NCTL to the sea for discharge regularly, gets broken leading to illegal discharge into Amla Khadi which at the end meets the Narmada river,” activist Rohit Prajapati said.