Hope floats for the much-polluted Ami river as the Gorakhpur Industrial Development Authority (GIDA) has finally decided to set up its first common effluent treatment plant (CETP),nearly 24 years after it was envisaged.
A feasibility report submitted recently has advocated immediate setting up of the CETP,said G P Tripathi,GIDAs CEO.
The GIDA had asked Dr Govind Pandey of Madan Mohan Malaviya Engineering College,Gorakhpur,to prepare the feasibility report in 2011-12. The report came a few days back and has recommended that CETP should be established because the discharge from the industries in the region is much above the permissible limit, he said.
Earlier this week a consensus to establish the CETP was reached at during a meeting between GIDA and state pollution control board (PCB) officials and members of the industries.
The matter will now be presented before the GIDA board,which will send it to the state government for approval, said Tripathi.
The cost of running the plant,the CEO said,will be shared by state and the central governments. Once finances are clear,the unit can be set up within a year, he said,adding this will be the first CETP of GIDA in over 20 years.
The environmentalists say the CETP should have been established much earlier. CETP was a part of the norms to set up GIDA,which was established between 1989 and 1991. However,it has taken the authorities 24 years to adopt the norm even as the environmental conditions in the area and that of river Ami have been deteriorating, said Vishwavijay Singh,environment activist and president of Ami Bachao Andolan.
The continuous discharge of partially treated effluent in the Ami river has remained a major political issue in Gorakhpur with both Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Union Minister Jayanti Natrajan raising it during their visits to the district.
The quality of water in Ami river has deteriorated and is no longer fit for drinking or propagation of fisheries,according to a report by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The report had said the effluent plants of industries in GIDA are not stabilized and had recommended for establishing a CETP.
On the basis of the report,CPCB had also issued show-cause notice to six polluting industries. In 2011,angry villagers settled on the bank of the river had held three pollution control board officials of the district as hostage and manhandled them over the issue of pollution of the Ami river. Following this,the state PCB had recommended closure of two industries,Raina Paper and Board Industries Limited at Khalilabad in Sant Kabir Nagar,and India Glycols Limited in Gorakhpur.