The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation on Tuesday began an all-out war against hyacinth, according to officials. However, the efforts proved to be half-hearted as the very first operation had to be wound up quickly due to paucity of staff and non-availability of boats.
The operation to remove hyacinth took off in Pavana river in Kalewadi. PCMC officials said after Kalewadi, they would take a look at Mula and Indrayani, besides Kalewadi in Pimpri-Chinchwad.
Joint Municipal Commissioner Dilip Gawde, however, did not sound confident about the success of the campaign. “We are leaving no stone unturned to remove hyacinth from all the three rivers that flow in Pimpri-Chinchwad. However, the problem arises due to the state of the rivers. Hyacinth is not sustained in clean water, but the rivers that flow in Pimpri-Chinchwad have high density of drainage water,” said Gawde.
Conceding that PCMC has failed to keep the rivers clean, Gawde said the civic environmental department had been making efforts to ensure that maximum amount of drainage water was treated before being released into the river. “Because untreated domestic and industrial waste continues to be discharged, the rivers remain dirty and polluted. Therefore, we cannot get rid of the hyacinth which is known to spawn mosquitoes,” he said.
Sanjay Kulkarni, PCMC executive engineer (environmental department), said PCMC had been able to treat 80 per cent of the generated sewage. “Now, only 20 per cent of the untreated domestic waste is released into the rivers. This happens as some residents have not connected their drainage lines to the main civic drainage line that flows into the local sewage treatment plant,” he said.
Kulkarni said currently 290 MLD sewage was generated in Pimpri-Chinchwad. “Of this, we treat 230 MLD sewage. PCMC has adequate sewage treatment capacity after setting up as many as 13 sewage treatment plants. We generate 290 MLD sewage, but we have the capacity of treating 338 MLD sewage,” he said.
Kulkarni said the rivers in Pimpri-Chinchwad were also polluted by the industrial effluents discharged by hundreds of small scale industries. “The major industrial units like Tata Motors, Bajaj and SKF have their own effluent treatment plants. But the small scale industries let off their untreated industrial waste into nullahs that flow into the rivers.”
PCMC said MIDC, MCCIA and MPCB took the initiative to set up a common effluent treatment plant in MIDC Bhosari area. “MIDC had requested the PCMC to prepare a detailed project report. Accordingly, we had submitted the report which was approved by the state government. The report has now been handed to the central government. We are awaiting approval. Once approved, we are sure we will be able to keep the rivers clean and there will be no hyacinth menace,” he said.
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