Maharashtra: Sugar mills, civic bodies blamed for Krishna river’s pollution

Times of India | 4 days ago | 23-11-2022 | 10:44 am

Maharashtra: Sugar mills, civic bodies blamed for Krishna river’s pollution

KOLHAPUR: The expert committee formed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has pinned the blame of Krishna river pollution on the violations committed by nine sugar mills in Satara and Sangli districts, two municipal councils — Islampur and Ashta — and the Sangli Miraj Kupwad Municipal Corporation. In the latest hearing, the NGT issued directives stating that all the nine sugar mills and civic bodies mentioned by the expert committee must be impleaded as per the petition filed by a Sangli-based activist. According to the petition, a large number of dead fish were found floating at various stretches of the Krishna river That passes through the Satara and Sangli districts. The incident took place in July and in August. After the petition was filed, the NGT had set up a team of officials of the Central Pollution Control Board, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, state fisheries department and district collector of Sangli. The panel has submitted a 161-page report and according to the findings, the untreated effluents released from the sugar mills into the river and inability of the civic bodies to stop the wastewater from flowing into the river are the major sources of pollution, leading to the death of the fish. The petitioner — Sunil Pharate — had maintained that the mills released a large amount of bagasse and effluents into the river during heavy rain to get the toxins washed off without getting noticed by anyone. This, in turn, led to the death of fishes, he said. Pharate said, “After the incident, the MPCB officials had given a clean chit to the mills. We are going to seek the suspension of the officials concerned for misleading the public and hiding the fact. The NGT has asked to amend our petition accordingly and make the polluters party to the hearings.”

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