3 turtles found dead in polluted Dombivli pond
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.