Palar and Hudson...

Topic started by Vishvesh Obla (@ on Fri Aug 3 10:20:53 .
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.

The EPA, US Environmental Protection Agency, has ordered GE that it should take responsibility of cleaning up of the Poly chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) supposed to be dumped by it in the Hudson River and which has been a cause of environmental pollution today. This dredging job is a major one that will go on for three years, I guess, and involves billions of dollars. This reminds me of something very bad going on back home in Tamilnadu, in the Palar River. This river is one of the largest rivers in North Tamilnadu (the width of it anywhere must be more than a mile) and it is a great sight to see when it flows in full (it does full justice to its name). This river is seldom flooded but geologic studies have revealed a parallel source of underground fresh water almost as big as the river. There is a string of tanneries all along the coast of this river starting from Vellore. These tanneries use a lot of chemicals for treating leather and produce an enormous amount of effluents. These effluents are not non-treatable; the process is kind of expensive, but not unaffordable. All these effluents are let into the Palar River and this has been going on for more than fifty years ! My brother who is a leather technologist says that even the tanneries that have effluent treatment facilities donít care to maintain it, since they can easily get rid of it in the Palar river. These effluents are gradually eroding the great source of underground fresh water resource which, if tapped properly, could take care of most of the water shortage problems of North Tamilnadu (which includes Chennai !). My brother also says that he is surprised that not even some noise is made about it. To look at the devastation that these leather effluents could cause on even a dry land would not only sore oneís eye but also would numb oneís sensibility itself by the barren-ness it causes and we can imagine the extent of damage it could do to a fresh water source. Today, when we are having such an acute shortage of drinking water, it is a shame to us that we donít even care about the possibility of looking for possible resources, but would endlessly entangle ourselves with related political problems which seem to have no end to them, thanks to our constitution. The environmental pollution caused by GE in the Hudson River is very insignificant compared to the Palar River. Arenít we responsible for our future generations at least to give them a livable condition even within our existing problems ? How sad it is to see our indifferenceÖ


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