Indrayani River Pollution Resurfaces Post Palakhi Departure

Despite MPCB appointing 3 vigilance teams to monitor polluters, these teams remain clueless about the foam's reappearance.
Representative Image
Representative Image

Pune: Following the departure of the Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi and Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Palkhi (palanquins) for Ashadhi Wari, foam has resurfaced on the Indrayani River, which flows through the holy sites of Dehu and Alandi.

Despite the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) appointing three vigilance teams to ensure sewage does not contaminate the river and to monitor polluters, these teams remain clueless about the foam's reappearance.

Before Ashadhi Wari, the Indrayani River was heavily foamed, causing concern among devotees. Authorities released water from the Andra and Vadivale dams to clean the riverbed after complaints.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who attended the Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Palkhi departure ceremony, promised to rid Indrayani of pollution. However, foam reappeared shortly after the palanquins' departure.

Originating in Lonavala, the Indrayani River flows through various towns and villages, including Dehu and Alandi, and spans 19 kilometers through Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Untreated industrial wastewater, chemical-laden water from riverside factories, and untreated sewage from villages are directly discharged into the river. Solid waste, including plastic and construction debris, is also dumped, exacerbating pollution and endangering aquatic life, as well as public health.

The MPCB has issued notices to municipal councils and gram panchayats for failing to update their sewage treatment plants (STPs) and releasing untreated wastewater into the river.

Recently, notices were issued to the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, Talegaon Dabhade Municipal Council, and Wadgaon Nagar Panchayat. However, critics argue that the MPCB’s actions are limited to issuing notices without concrete measures.

The MPCB appointed three teams of six members each to prevent sewage from entering the river and to monitor polluters. Despite this, the teams have been unable to determine the cause of the foam’s return.

Accusing the ruling authorities of negligence, the Mahavikas Aghadi held a protest in Alandi, with warkaris (devotees) and students participating, chanting hymns and playing traditional instruments.

"Chemical-laden water and waste from industrial areas are being dumped directly into the river. The municipal corporation and pollution control board are turning a blind eye. The BJP has profited under the guise of river cleaning, and their incompetence and corruption have led to this state of the river," said Sulabha Ubale, leader of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) faction.

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