Sunday, August 18, 2013

Reference By The Times Of India -

1 . Ecological time bomb ticking in Chitrakoot...
JABALPUR: The holy city Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh's Satna district is sitting on an ecological time bomb.

The Mandakini River which through Chitrakoot has been encroached upon and three private bridges have been built on it, turning it pristine banks into rubble and interrupting the natural flow.
One of the bridges is the exclusive property of a RSS-affiliated institution, Deen Dayal Shodh Sansthan. The second bridge over the Mandakini has been built by a BJP leader Arun Mishra and a retired cop, Bhanuprasad Singh. The third structure is owned by a self-styled spiritual guru.

The first bridge is partially open to pilgrims but the other two are for personal use, said RTI activist Nityanand Mishra, who is leading the fight against the environmental pillage. He has moved the green tribunal and demanded removal of encroachments.

The state tourism department has also played a role in the environmental degradation. The department has erected miniature dams in the middle of the river and diverted the water flow. Concrete sheds and cottages have also come up near the Sfatik Shila, which carries the footprints of Sita — a homage site of lakhs of pilgrims in the Mandakini catchment area.

"The river has narrowed down at several points is overflowing with slush and sewage," Mishra said.

Discharge of untreated sewage into the Mandakini has made the water toxic and has put lives of thousands of pilgrims at risk, who sip the water after a holy dip. The fecal Coliform count (an indicator of sewage contamination) is shockingly very high at Jankikund Praodvan and Pramodwan — the twin bathing ghats. Against the permissible limit of 500mpn/100ml, it was as high as 60,000-73,000mpn/100ml.

Rampant illegal mining at the Mandakini catchment area and around the Mokamgarh Mountains is disturbing the ecological balance of Chitrakoot, which draws more than 50 lakh pilgrims annually.
2 .News -Mandakini pollution: HC notice to Centre, state .
BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh high court (MPHC) on Friday served notices on the Centre, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and others on a petition seeking a check on pollution in Satna district's holy Mandakini River.

A division bench, comprising Justice Ajit Singh and Justice Sanjay Yadav also served notices on Madhya Pradesh government, MP Pollution Control Board (MPPCB), Satna district collector and Chitrakoot Nagar Panchayat chief executive officer returnable within four weeks.
Legend has it that Lord Ram had performed puja on the Mandakini River in exile (vanvas).

In his public interest litigation (PIL), petitioner Nityanand Mishra has alleged that the water of the Mandakini River has turned turbid owing to the release of affluent into it. As a result, scores of devotees taking dip and consuming river water during rituals face health problems.

He pleaded that the untreated water should first pass through sewage treatment plants before its release into the river.

Besides, garbage also is being dumped into it, further affecting the water quality.

3.News - 'Identify sources polluting Mandakini river'
BHOPAL: National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday directed state chief secretary to convene a meeting of secretaries of Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Union ministry of environment and forest, state environment department of the state to take stock of pollution level in Mandakini River in Santa district.

A four-member bench, headed by tribunal chairman Justice Swatantra Kumar, gave directives to the MPPCB and CPCB to conduct a detailed study for identifying sources polluting the river. Next hearing is scheduled for May 6. The action comes in wake of a complaint filed by advocate Nityanand Mishra, wherein he pointed out that pollution in the river reached a level where that it was causing skin diseases and health-related problems to pilgrims. Mishra appeared before the tribunal and argued that the river was also on the verge of extinction following encroachment on its bank apart from being polluted by sewerage water from nearby towns and villages. The tribunal asked the government to make projects to stop release of sewage in the river, time involved in completion of such projects, making internal arrangement to ensure that no solid waste material is released in the river, check level of pollution due to use of pesticides by farmers and to examine whether any construction work is going on the bank of river within 100 metres.