Baroda, 15 August 2020
Rohit Prajapati, social worker has written a letter to the Chairman, GPCB, Member Secretary, GPCB, Unit Head, Vadodara and to the Government of Gujarat. It is said that now let us make you free from pollution. We have heard lot today on this 74th Independence day, 15 August 2020. But the occurence of the overflow of the Effluent Channel on 13, 14, & 15 August 2020 in villages Sarod, Samoj, Nondhana, Piludara, Dudhwada etc. of Padra and Jambusar Talukas of Gujarat is ironical.
Industrial Effluent has once again, this year, entered into the farms of these villages and damaged the crops. It is become a recurring phenomena and when questioned about the repeated disasters, the VECL shockingly answers, “we pay many times for that”. Actually they do not compensate the farmers for the damages which are irreversible in nature like contamination of soil, crops, vegetables, and groundwater.
We would like to assert that “Pollute and Pay” (Actually it is “Polluter Pays”) is not the solution but not to pollute is the solution. It is about time the authorities and industries take note of this and seriously work towards addressing this grave issue that is affecting the livelihoods, health and quality of life of thousands of these villagers and those who consume the agriculture produce of the area that covers the larger geographical area of Vadodara.
During the site visit on 14 August 2020 with the Regional Officer of Vadodara, while observing the disaster, he repeatedly ADVISED the affected people “to cooperate with the VECL official”! After repeated appeals and complains by the people about such recurring disasters, he uttered not a single word to the VECL official as if VECL is the influential, powerful, big boss who have licence to pollute.
We again state that the RO is probably not aware about the past GPCB reports, directions, CPCB report of 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, and recent 2019 including the direction issued by CPCB Member Secretary to GPCB Member Secretary. Attached videos are taken on 14 August 2020 are self revealing.
We earnestly request the concerned authorities to look into these issues seriously, as irreversible damage has been done in this area and the situation is further deteriorating. People of the area have lost faith in the GPCB. This is nothing but a chemical emergency. We urge the top officials of the GPCB to visit these areas as early as possible.
– Rohit Prajapati