Water pollution on the rise in Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh industrial belt of Himachal

Shimla: Intense industrialization in the Baddi, Barotiwala and Nalagarh (BBN) has stressed the water resources in region for the recently released state environment report has held that water quality in river Sirsa, Markanda and Sukhna Nallah was a lowly D grade because of low levels of oxygen due to organic pollution.

Speaking about the BBN industrial belt, Nagin Nanda, member secretary state pollution control board said, “being a water stressed region and increasing effluents adding to the pollutants, we have raised the bar for those intending to set up new units in Baddi, Barotiwala or Nalagarh.”

“We insist that any upcoming new unit incorporate a reverse osmosis affluent treatment plant in its proposal in order to contain water pollution in the belt,” he said.

Rapid industrialization in Solan district mainly around the Baddi, Barotiwala and Nalagarh (BBN) belt has recorded an investment of over Rs 4260 crores with the number of units registered having crossed 3950, data with the industry department showed.

The science and technology department recently release a state of environment report in which the water quality has been graded on a scale of A to E. The report accords a D grade for water quality draining out from the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh-Parwanoo-Kala Amb area and forming part of Sirsa, Markanda, and Sukhna Nallah catchment.

The report points out that low level of oxygen due to organic pollution in the drainage systems was the principal cause of poor water quality in the streams.

Besides the problem of pollution, the supply side too is a stretched lot as one senior officer from the irrigation and public health department said that the there was much demand from water in the industrial belt, so much so, that many units were resorting to tapping underground water.”

The problem is that we are unable to monitor the water being drawn by such units and there is practically no charges being levied for doing so, said the official not wanting to be named.

The environment report corroborates as it mentions that ‘there is no monitoring system for the monitoring of water intake and use in industrial applications.

In lower regions of the state, depletion of ground water table has been reported’ the report states.

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