Chandrapur: With the hunger strike held by Eco-Pro organization for conservation of Ramala Lake gaining momentum, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) here on Saturday dashed off a letter to the district collector, detailing the presence of high quantities of hazardous chemicals in the historic lake’s water.
The letter points out that the water samples collected twice from the lake — in the first and second week of February respectively — have excessively high biological oxygen demand (BOD). BOD is a measure of the amount of oxygen required to remove waste organic matter from the water in the process of decomposition by aerobic bacteria.
The letter states that the samples of water taken from the lake show the BOD to be in the range of 190 to 112 milligrams/ per litre, as against the standard of 2 milligrams per litre. Fish have been dying in the lake since quite some time and MPCB had earlier blamed poor content of dissolved oxygen for their deaths.
MPCB has said that the excessively high BOD in water is due to washing of sewage water into the lake. Suspended solids, total dissolved solids (TDS), iron, cadmium and lead have also been found higher than normal. The lake water percolates into the ground and the same hazardous water finds its way into the wells and borings nearby.
People living in the area around the lake have been complaining about foul smell and contamination in the water from their borings and wells since many years. MPCB has further stated that this contaminated water from the lake overflows into the adjoining Jharpat river and then washes ahead into Irai river, spreading the pollution far and wide.
MPCB has claimed that the National Green Tribunal, New Delhi, on August 28, 2019, had directed the local self-governing bodies to set up a processing plant to treat all the domestic wastewater generated from the city, and to construct a closed sewer system in their jurisdiction.
However, presently the Chandrapur Municipal Corporation (CMC) does not have a complete network of sewerage system in the city. The underground water in the area and the rivers around is being polluted due to discharge of non-treated sewage into the lake, and MPCB told the collector that it has already directed CMC to set up a sewage treatment plant to treat the sewage water entering the lake.