Industrial waste disposal pollutes Dano river

Himalayan News Service

Rupandehi, April 13:

The disposal of industrial waste of the two factories — Reliance Paper Mills and Tribeni Distillery — into the local Dano River is affecting agriculture and animal husbandry in Marchawar area of the district.

According to a report by the district agriculture development office - Rupandehi, the Kamhariya, Bhagawanpur, Betkuiya and Majhgawa among other VDCs have been badly affected by the pollution in the river which is a major source of water for irrigating the fields here.

The DADO had conducted the study after the locals appealed the local administration, the DADO and the environmental organisations here about the increasing pollution and its concequences.

The local say that the water in the river has turned black because of the direct disposal of unprocessed industrial waste.Animals suffer from allergies and indigestion after drinking water from the river and when people use the water for non-drinking purposes they too, suffer from allergies. The locals also said that plants die if the water from the river is used for irrigation.

Lal Longh, a local farmer said farmers of the area have stopped bringing animals to the river and that the polluted water has hardened the soil making it very difficult to cultivate. The farmers also complain that the plastic and other solid waste in the water affects the pumps of the Marchawar Uplift Irrigation Project, which pumps water to irrigate about 4,400 hectors of land.

The river is almost dead resulting in loss of various aquatic animals as well as birds, former chairman of the Kamhariya VDC Om Prakash Longh said.

Narayan Sapkota, the former president of Save the Environment, a local environment organisation said that the local administration and other departments concerned had earlier turned a deaf ear when they complained about the increasing pollution in the river. Rohit P Shrestha, owner of Tribeni Distillery and Shyam Agrawal, MD of Reliance Paper Mills, however, said that they were trying their best to reduce disposal of unprocessed waste water into the river.

The Cottage and Small Factory Office, Rupandehi disclosed that the existing rules require that the industries related to paper and pulp, distillery, leather and wool among others should install industrial waste processing plants and ensure the waste is well processed before disposal to rivers but no industry in the region has adhered to regulations.