|2008-11-21||Waldhuni river polluted at its source: study|
Waldhuni river polluted at its source: studyN Ganesh , N Ganesh : Mumbai, November 21, Sat Nov 22 2008, 23:33 hrs
The river Waldhuni, known to be heavily polluted, gets contaminated at its source itself, according to the preliminary findings by the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) and Smt Chandibai Himmatmal Mansukhani College in Thane district. The river originates from the hills of Ambernath near Kakole village in the district.
The Waldhuni, which flows along the Ulhasnagar station, is popularly known as the Waldhuni Nallah for the heavy pollution it receives along its course. Though the industrial stretch of Ulhasnagar and Ambernath and others township like Vithalwadi, Shahad and Kalyan, through which the Waldhuni flows, contribute in polluting it visibly, the river gets polluted at the source itself.
As part of their study, a team of 250 students of the college supervised by nine teachers have been regularly collecting water samples from 18 locations along the 31.8 km stretch of the river. "The coliform bacteria count is consistently high in almost all the samples. Coliform is index organism for faecal pollution and its consistent presence indicates fecal pollution at the point of origin," said Dr Bela Nabar, the project coordinator.
The finding means that the townships along the stretch of the river use it for dumping untreated sewage. The more urban the settlement along the river, more visible was the damage done to the water body. "The total solids (suspended and dissolved) were found to be high for monsoon and other times. This is due to the sewage discharge and dumping of plastic wastes," said Dr Nabar.
The study primarily involves mapping and water analysis of the river. The three-year long study, which commenced on World Environment Day (5 June) this year, is being undertaken by the geography, microbiology, bio-technology and chemistry departments of the college. Considering the importance of the Waldhuni river to the ecology of both Ambernath and Ulhasnagar and the neighbouring villages and townships, the UMC decided to clean the Waldhuni river, a la Mithi river. But before taking the task, it decided to conduct the study.