Odisha: Taladanda and Machhagaon canals grime, pollution irks residents in Jagatsinghpur district

Report by Kahnu Nanda, Jagatsinghpur: Untreated sewage water from SCB Medical College and Hospital and waste and rains water from Cuttack town is being discharged in to Taladanda and Machhagaon canals have concerned for the residents of Jagatsinghpur district past two weeks.
Not only has the aquatic life adversely affected, the polluted canal water has been passing to villages and towns in Jagatsinghpur localities starting from Biribati thereby posing a threat to the lives of those who lived nearby, meanwhile locals have raised alarm about this dark brownish colour contaminated water flowing in the canal.
The domestic waste water generated from households, commercial places, offices and health care units situated adjacent to SCB Medical College and hospital are discharging to Taladanda canal.
Moreover in locations at Chhatra Bazar,Andarpur,Rajahansa,Biribati and Bidyadharpur from Cuttack town a substantial quantity of untreated wastewater and rain water are being quitted to Taladanda canal creating serious pollution.
Taladanda and Machhagaon canals are life line of Jagatsinghpur district supplying water for irrigation of hundreds of acres land as well as contributing water to industrial houses of Paradip both for drinking and commercial purposes.
The canal starts at Jobra from River Mahanadi after passing Cuttack city it separates in two parts at Biribati as Taladanda and Machhagaon canals. The water supply to these canals begin after pre monsoon rains start from early June each year and it continues till end of December before the pre harvesting season activate every year.
Water in these canals have started flowing two weeks ago which too has seen blackness, reported stench carrying wastages both solid and liquid substances. Allegations are rife that substantial quantity of untreated wastewater generated from Cuttack city being discharged in to upstream of these canals.
We have raised the issue of contaminated water in canal for several years, but nothing has changed in spite of the water underlines contamination rued many farmers, moreover these polluted canal water spreading paddy land have created disaster for farm labourer suffering manifolds skin ailments even they express disagree working in land scattering these polluted water, farmers complained
Irrigation department releases few waters from river only to dilute contamination but the quality of water sample is revealed that parameters such as Total Coliform Bacteria [TCB] were beyond prescribed standard, sources said.
Earlier state pollution control board after assessing the water quality of Taladanda canal had reported that pollution level in water was higher than prescribed limit, informed Dr Biswajit Ray an environmentalist and social activist. Earlier Odisha high court had directed under no circumstances should there be any discharge of sewage and waste water to Taladana canal but the order is being ignored regularly, added Dr Biswajit.
According to World Health Organisation [WHO] views polluted water leads to worst effect on human health, every year due to contaminated water Lakhs of people become the victims of death and suffering from diseases directly and indirectly born out of polluted water. Various diseases like Polio, Cholera, Patches, Jaundice, fever, skin itching can be attributed to drinking and use of sewage mixed water.
Sources informed that water pollution causes all water bodies surrounding in villages and ground water getting contaminated affecting human activities, irrigation department violates various established laws and regulations before draining sewage waters to canal.
However irrigation department either denied or admitted sewage polluted water being discharged in Taladanda canal, Jagatsinghpur irrigation division executive engineer Umakanta Mohanty informed that on July 07 this year 250 cusec of water has been released from Jobra, 150 cusec in Taladanda and 100 cusec in Machhagaon canals and supply would be increased this week. He refuted the allegations that Drain water and untreated waste water from Cuttack city quitting to canal and admitted few quantity of rain waters likely have discharged due to waterlogging condition of Cuttack town, Executive engineer added.

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