Human rights body seeks report from Odisha on river pollution

Bhubaneswar, March 20 (IANS) The National Human Rights Commission has sought an Action Taken Report from the Odisha government over river pollution by certain industries in the state.

Hearing a complaint filed by human rights campaigner Subash Mohapatra, the Commission ordered the chief secretary and the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) chairman to submit the report in four weeks regarding the pollution of Brahmani, Kharashrota and Gandanal rivers.

“Pollution in Brahmani, Kharashrota and Gandanal rivers has increased. A steep increase in toxic cyanide and phenolic compounds in the water samples has been confirmed by tests,” Mohapatra said.

He said the SPCB had failed to take appropriate measures to reduce toxic compounds in water bodies.

“No monitoring mechanism is available for checking water quality downstream of Kharashrota and other rivers,” he said.

The central laboratory’s scientists confirmed the release of effluents by industries into Kharashrota and Brahmani, the activist said.

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