Nagpur: At a time when water shortage is tormenting citizens no end, the mindless Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) authorities seem to be wreaking more havoc by releasing polluted water of its open cast mine into Kanhan River that supplies drinking water to city. The release of toxic water could pose health hazards to citizens as well as river species of unprecedented nature. Notably, the work on the Bhanegaon-Bina Sangam open cast mine of WCL has started and the polluted water is getting accumulated at the mine. To get rid of the highly toxic water, the WCL authorities straightaway releasing the deadly stuff directly into the Kanhan River without filteration. As a result, the Kanhan water has turned blackish rendering it unpotable and hazardous to health.
The WCL started excavating coal from the newly acquired open cast mine since the year 2015. During excavation, thousands of gallons of coal-mixed water is also getting accumulated. However, instead of diverting the highly polluted water to other safer place, the senseless WCL authorities directly releasing the blackish water into Kanhan River. The WCL has dug up a wide drainage line from the open cast mine right up to the shores of the river. The polluted water is getting mixed with the river water.
Eralier, the WCL used to divert the polluted water to agriculture fields of farmers nearby. But the practice was stopped following vociferous protests by farming community. Releasing of toxic water into river without due filteration process is illegal but the mindless WCL authorities seem to care two hoots for the rules and regulations.
The water released into Kanhan River contains toxic chemicals and could create havoc with the lives of citizens as well as the different river species.
When contacted, the local WCL Manager K C Daan said that the mine water is being supplied to a Bina Sangam-based poultry farm and few farmers on demand. It is wrong to say that the polluted water is being released into Kanhan River, Daan added.
On the other hand, a sand ghat exists just beside the open cast mine and the contractor named Tiwari claimed that the toxic water is being released in the premises of the sand ghat. The polluted water flows further up to Bina Sangam, the confluence of Kanhan and Kolar rivers. A Bhonsale-era Shiv Mandir is situated at the Sangam and the spot is visited by hundreds of tourists and devotees around the year for performing “Dashakriya” rituals. After the rituals, the devotees take a bath in the river and thus face health hazards.
The Khaparkheda Primary Health Centre Medical Officer Dr Nitin Khandekar and the Supervisor Nishant Naik said that the polluted water of open cast mine is highly hazardous. The toxic water could inflict various stomach ailments such as diarrhea, weakening of digestive system, asthma, tuborculosis (TB) et al. Citizens should not use this water without filteration. On the other hand, Sudhir Paliwal, Convenor of Vidarbha Paryavaran Kruti Samiti, said that an inspection of the river and the coal mine will be undertaken in two days and further action will be initiated.
Filteration tank faulty:
The WCL Administration has set up a filteration tank for purification of mine water. The filteration tank is divided into three parts. The tank is installed at a height but the drainage line has not been connected with it. As a result, the water flowing in the drainage line reaches nearby farms instead of the filteration tank. If the mine water is treated and filtered, it can be used for various uses, some experts opined.
– By Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha