Chemical pollutes dam water; notices to 50 companies

December 29th, 2009 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 29 (IANS) The Maharashtra government has issued notices to 50 chemical companies in Ratnagiri district after a chemical was dumped on a national highway, polluting a dam supplying water to over 25,000 people in Khed sub-district, officials said.
“The reddish-brown chemical was dumped by a truck late Saturday night on the Mumbai-Goa highway, around three km from the Boras Dam here,” said M.G. Gaikwad, revenue department official of Khed sub-district.

The notices have been served on the companies to ascertain whether the rogue truck belonged to any of them and what kind of chemical was dumped there, he said.

The chemical from the truck flowed into some drains and found its way into the Boras Dam waters, around 200 km south of Mumbai.

The incident came to light Sunday when villagers from Khed, Boras, Shivkhud and Shivbudh found thousands of fish, crabs, snakes, lizards and other creatures dead in the vicinity of the dam.

The district authorities were alerted and investigation launched into the incident, culminating in show cause notices to 50 big and small chemical manufacturers in the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) industrial estate here, according to Gaikwad.

Apprehending risk to the locals from the contaminated water, the district authorities have shut water supply from the dam and restricted access to the affected area.

The district administration has also arranged for tankers to supply drinking water to the people of the affected villages till alternatives are worked out.

Some of the major companies which have been issued notice are Hindustan Unilever, Hardilia Chemicals, Gharda Chemicals, Punjab Chemicals, Ratnagiri Chemicals, Garuda Chemicals and MDH Chemicals, he said.

“The tanker driver is absconding after dumping the load of acidic and toxic chemicals, estimated at several tonnes. We have sent samples for analysis and are awaiting the report,” Gaikwad told IANS.

Meanwhile, experts from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and other agencies have rushed to Ratnagiri to assist the district administration in tackling with the crisis.

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