After conducting the survey the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) revealed on Thursday that the water sample collected from a pond near the Bandhwari waste treatment plant was found to be highly contaminated. The water that has been tested contains chemicals above the permissible amount and is absolutely not suitable for drinking.
Though the plant remains defunct for the last three years, more than 800 tonnes of solid waste is being dumped in the area every day. Without any effective disposal of solid waste at the plant, environmental activists have been claiming for a long time that the contaminated water from it is destroying the ecological balance of the Aravallis.
On August 24, the pollution control board had collected water samples from three sites. However, only the sample from the pond near the plant was found to be polluted. According to the test report, the water was dark brown and emitted a foul smell.
“We collected samples from a tubewell at Teen Murti Hanuman Mandir near the toll plaza at Faridabad-Gurgaon road, from Sansad BS Adhana Petrol Pump located opposite the municipal solid waste landfill site and from a pond close to the plant,” said Bhupender Singh, district pollution officer, HSPCB to Hindustan Times.
According to the HSPCB officials, the current situation has not affected the region’s groundwater yet, however, if no measures are taken immediately, chemicals and heavy metals from the plant can soon destroy the region’s aquifers.The report reveals the presence of chlorides, copper and lead in the water, making it highly toxic.
Environmental activist Vivek Kamboj told Hindustan Times, “The situation is grim as heavy metal presence in the water clearly shows that it might affect groundwater of the region, which can lead to genetic disorders. We are rushing into a disaster.”
Meanwhile, the municipal corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) is pumping out contaminated water from the area and will be filing a ground reality report with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on September 28 as directed by the tribunal on August 24.
Kamboj also said that the MCG did not do this on its own and had to pump out contaminated water only because of the NGT’s direction.
Earlier, it was found that black contaminated water, or leachate, is leaking out of the plant and collecting at a large lake in the Aravalli forest area.
The information was revealed after a petition was filed before the NGT last year by environmental activists over damage to the Aravalli forests, particularly along the Gurgaon-Faridabad road near Bandhwari waste treatment plant.
Dumping of waste has also been noticed in the natural drain of Chakkarpur, which is being revived by the forest department.