3 tur­tles found dead in pol­luted Dom­bivli pond

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Sa­jana Nam­biar sa­jana.nam­biar@hin­dus­tan­times.com

A Dom­bivli res­i­dent holds a dead tur­tle found along the Mi­lap­na­gar lake in Dom­bivli on Thurs­day.

Four months af­ter dead fish were found float­ing in Mi­lap­na­gar pond at Dom­bivli MIDC res­i­den­tial zone, res­i­dents found three dead tur­tles on Thurs­day and alerted the au­thor­i­ties.

“I have been com­plain­ing about the pond’s pol­lu­tion for months. On Thurs­day, I de­cided to check the pond and saw the dead tur­tles,” said Raju Nalawade, 55, ac­tivist and a res­i­dent of Dom­bivli who has been rais­ing the is­sue of pol­lu­tion in Dom­bivli ponds.

The res­i­dents com­plained to the Maharashtra Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Board (MPCB) and Kalyan-Dom­bivli Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (KDMC).

This is not the first time they have com­plained.

Alarmed by the lake’s dan­ger­ously high pol­lu­tion lev­els and the threat it is caus­ing to marine life, the res­i­dents had writ­ten to the MPCB, de­mand­ing a de­tailed sur­vey and sam­ple test­ing of the pond’s wa­ter.

Flooded by com­plaints, MPCB Mum­bai, ear­lier this month, told its Kalyan divi­sion to sub­mit a de­tailed re­port on the Mi­lap­na­gar pond’s con­di­tion.

“We have again sent the wa­ter sam­ples for test­ing. If at all the oxy­gen level in the wa­ter was zero, then it would have also af­fected the res­i­dents. It would have led to health haz­ards,” said an of­fi­cial from MPCB Kalyan.

In a let­ter dated De­cem­ber 22, the Dom­bivli Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion in­formed the MPCB sec­re­tary that the Board’s Kalyan divi­sion had failed to carry out proper test­ing of wa­ter sam­ples col­lected from the Mi­lap­na­gar lake in Dom­bivli. The let­ter gave de­tails of how the lake’s high pol­lu­tion lev­els have threat­ened its aquatic life.

“The en­vi­ron­ment sci­ence depart­ment of KJ Somaiya Col­lege had con­ducted a test of the lake’s wa­ter sam­ples. But their re­sults dif­fered from those of the MPCB. We sus­pect the MPCB of­fi­cials did not use the ap­pro­pri­ate pro­ce­dure while test­ing the wa­ter sam­ples,” added Nalawade.

The test con­ducted by the col­lege shows the lake con­tained a high con­cen­tra­tion of lead and cad­mium, much above the per­mis­si­ble limit. Also, the dis­solved oxy­gen level in the lake is zero, as against the re­quired 4mg per litre of wa­ter. Im­mer­sion of huge idols in the lake has ad­versely af­fected marine life, said en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists.

Kalyan re­gional of­fi­cer of MPCB JB Sange­war said: “We have sent the re­port to the MPCB Mum­bai. The pond is pol­luted be­cause the res­i­dents im­merse idols and dump garbage in it. We have again col­lected sam­ples of the wa­ter for a de­tailed study. We can only make anal­y­sis and send re­ports to higher au­thor­i­ties. The civic body is re­spon­si­ble for pond’s main­te­nance.”

KDMC com­mis­sioner E Ravendi­ran said that civic of­fi­cials had vis­ited the pond and pre­pared a de­tailed re­port.

“We have planned to re­ju­ve­nate the pond in two months,” he added.

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