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Factories release toxic effluents into river

A few industrial units today released untreated toxic effluents into the Ratta river lying on the NH-21A highway leading to a large quantity of froth on water surface.

Since the Ratta river confluences into the Sarsa river, this toxic untreated water would not only contaminate the other water body, but would also harm the aquatic flora and fauna.

A visit to the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN) industrial belt revealed that a large stretch of the Ratta river, which has its origin in the Thana industrial area, was found smeared with white froth. Besides, a large quantity of untreated effluent was found in the river water, thus changing its colour.

Since rainy showers lashed the BBN area this morning, erring industrial units took advantage of the situation and let out untreated effluents directly into the river water without treating them in the effluent treatment plants (ETPs).

Since treating the effluents is an exercise involving monetary expenses, industrial units at times shy away from operating the ETPs. This tendency is more prevalent during the rainy season and such incidents have led to fish mortality in the past.

Fish mortality was reported from the Sarsa river last week. Though officials of the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) had collected samples, an action was still awaited against the erring units.

SPCB member secretary Vineet Kumar said the incident relating to froth in the Ratta river had come to his notice and he had sent a team, led by the SDO Baddi, to collect water samples from the river as well as industrial units located in the periphery so that strict action could be initiated against the erring unit for causing water pollution.


 Aug 15, 2014, The Tribune