Disturbing findings in CSE's second study on Pali

  • CSE releases a new study on pollution by mills in Pali; paints a dismal failure of the industry as a whole as well as the pollution control authorities 

  • Tests were carried out by CSE’s Pollution Monitoring Lab (PML) using internationally accepted and standardised procedures

  • Results corroborated by the first-hand survey of the farmers and residents of Pali; documentary screening accompanied release of study 

Pali (Rajasthan), September 18, 2014: Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a leading environmental think tank based in New Delhi, released its second study on the pollution from dyeing and textile mills in Pali, Rajasthan. Pali was classified as a critically polluted industrial cluster by the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI). 

There are 800 textile units in the town. Of these, 200 fall under the ‘orange category’, and do not discharge any effluents. 600 units are under the ‘red category’ of which about 75-80 are non-operational. The 515 operational units discharge their effluents to four Common Effluent Treatment Plants, or CETPs. 

The results of the CSE report, which was based on 15 water samples from a widely dispersed area collected by CSE and analysed in its in-house Pollution Monitoring Lab (PML) are disturbing.

• Out of the total five surface water samples, 80 per cent (four) were not fit to be used under any class of surface water given high levels of various pollutants/contaminants 

• Of the three drinking water samples only one was fit for drinking while two samples taken from the wells in Jaitpur and Nehra villages in Pali district were not potable. 

• Seven samples were taken from effluents from the mills; approximately 80 per cent of the samples were found to be highly polluted when even compared with CPCB standards for textile effluents as per the results obtained for their pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), total dissolved solids (TDS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), chloride, sulfide and sulphate analysis. 

• Phenolic compounds were found in five samples obtained from the CETPs of which the level in one was higher than permissible levels.

The results were expected and, furthermore, corroborated by the first-hand survey of the farmers and residents of Pali.

Dyeing and printing, the wet processing components of textile units, are the first culprits. The waters of the river Bandi and the Nehra dam located downstream of the town, as well as groundwater, have all been severely impacted due to this. Furthermore, the CETP that was set up to treat the effluents of the industry is not even used to full capacity – out of its total capacity of 34.68 MLD, it treats only 17 MLD of effluents. It is possible some mills continue to dump effluents illegally.

A related issue is technology: With over 60 per cent cotton dying mills and 40 per cent synthetic, the type of dyes used and, consequently, characteristic of effluents has changed over a period of time. The CETPs are old, have dated technology and are unable to treat effluents properly. Also, the CETP technology is obsolete – what is needed is zero liquid discharge (ZLD) treatment that recovers most of the salts used and recycles the water for the mill’s use.

The final issue is inadequate monitoring and pollution control. The regional and state Pollution control board (PCB) offices suffer from manpower shortage. The infrastructure is also inadequate: there is no lab for Pali area for testing of samples. The state PCB needs to push better compliance and monitoring and industries which are not complying with the norms should be shut down with immediate effect. The PCB officials acknowledged the CETP technology is deficient but assured that capacity is being enhanced.

All these issues were highlighted in a documentary that was also released along with the report. The documentary showed interviews with farmers who complained about the destruction of their lands and water pollution that has impacted their livelihoods. 

About the study
The tests were carried out using internationally accepted and standardised procedures: Total dissolved solids (TSS), chloride, sulphate were determined by using the standard methods published jointly by American Public Health Association (APHA), the American Water Works Association (AWWA), and the Water Environment Federation (WEF). The chemical oxygen demand (COD) of the samples was determined by methodology analogous to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

• For more details, please contact Souparno Banerjee (souparno@cseindia.org / 9910864339) of The CSE Media Resource Centre.

• To read Sunita Narain’s blog post on the previous CSE study on Pali, please visit: https://www.cseindia.org/no-let-off-till-zero-discharge-622


Down to Earth

Textile pollution in Pali, Rajasthan
CSE study
Evaluation of Water Pollution due to Textile Industries in Pali, Rajasthan
Media Clippings
Treatment plant rangeen pani se hua labalab,Bandi main beheta raha pani

Dainik Bhaskar, September 22, 2014

Phir Baha Bandi main zeher

Rajasthan Patrika, September 22, 2014

Dus Guna Pradooshan

Rajasthan Patrika, September 19, 2014

Factriyon se nikle paani ka asar – kuon ka paani na peene yogya na hee kheti ke kaam kaam

Dainik Bhaskar, September 19, 2014

CSE sanstha ne pradooshan ko ek gambhir samasya bataya

Maroonad, September 19, 2014

Bandi-Nehra kshetra ka pani sab se zyada pradooshit

Dainik Bhaskar, September 19, 2014

Pali Textile Units have turned the water toxic, unusable: CSE

Hindustan Times (Jaipur), September 19, 2014

Factriyon ke rangeen pani se rohat kshetra ke kuon ka pani zehrila: CSE

Dainik Bhaskar, September 18, 2014

Paanch ghante collectrate par date kisan

Rajasthan Patrika, September 19, 2014

Collector ne nahin liya mahilaon se gyapan, gussa kar laute kissan

Dainik Bhaskar, September 19, 2014

Ab kissan kuch galat kar baithen toh prashasan ki zimmedari

Dainik Bhaskar, September 19, 2014

Pradooshan ki samasya par kissanon ka dharna

Punjab Kesari, September 19, 2014

Pali collectorate par pradooshan samasya ko lekar kissanon ne dala padav

Rashtradoor, September 19, 2014

Kissanon ka collectry ke bahar padhav shuru

Dainik Jaltedeep, September 19, 2014

Eklauta aisa baandh jiska paani bahaana padta hai vyarth

Dainik Bhaskar, September 18, 2014

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National Public Radio (US), September 14, 2014

Combination of man"s greed and climate change could be behind Kashmir disaster

Kashmir Times, September 19, 2014

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RTCC, September 12, 2014