BHUBANESWAR: Even as pollution of rivers by industrial effluents is becoming a major concern in the State, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called for an action taken report (ATR) from Chief Secretary and Chairman of State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) in the matter.
Acting on a complaint filed by rights activist Subash Mohapatra alleging alarming rise in pollution levels in Brahmani, Kharashrota and Gandanala due to unrestricted release of effluents from industries, the Commission has directed the authorities to submit their ATR within four weeks.
There is a steep rise in presence of toxic chemicals and elements in rivers like Brahmani, Kharashrota and Gandanala. The regional members of SPCB and scientists from the Central laboratory had collected water samples from seven places in the river on December 29 last year and the results were published in January this year.
According to the scientists, 0.005 mg of cyanide and phenolic compounds in a litre of water can be adjustable. But the toxic content in the waters was found to be 10 times higher. The Brahmani river at Kabatabandha was found to have cyanide content of .045 mg per litre while phenolic compound was .032 mg per litre. Samples from Kharashrota taken from TISCO point and Jokadia showed phenolic compound at .045 mg each and cyanide content of .056 mg and .072 respectively.
The phenloic compound content in Gandanala at Deulakana, Kusumpur bridge and Marthapur was found to be .030, .037 and .040 mg respectively while cyanide was to the tune of .056, .067 and .085 mg respectively, Mohapatra said.
He alleged that Kalinganagar Development Authority (KNDA), which is responsible for preparation of a long-term action plan to check pollution in the rivers flowing through the region, remained a silent spectator. The SPCB on August 10, 2014 had written to KNDA seeking action in this connection but to no avail. It had again written to KNDA in November last year asking it to prepare a detailed report on pollution of Gandanala but no action has been taken yet.