Getting habituated to a habit...
There is a competition to live a life that takes you farther from your roots. Our roots are inevitably ecological. Having gained the wonderful experience of knowing ecology from close corners over the last two decades, I behave like an objective chronicler of it. This blog is meant to be a contemporary chronology of ecology, economics and we the being. The blog will have text and visuals. Ranjan Panda
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Mahanadi River Basin Update - 12th April 2015
WIO’s Mahanadi River Basin Update –
12th April 2015
Theme: Healthy Mahanadi, Happy Cities
Defecation too huge a pollution load for Mahanadi at Sonepur:
Open defecation ratio almost 1000 per kilometre of the river bank
stretch in the city!
A jaundice epidemic may not be far from being reality!!
As part of its ‘Mahanadi River Basin Initiative’, the WIO along with
Mahanadi River Waterkeeper, RARE, Nature for All, Mahanadi Sahitya Sansad and
The Ayauskam, organised a day long consultation with media and concerned
citizens at Sonepur today.
Speaking at the occasion Mahanadi River Waterkeeper Ranjan Panda said
that the consultation was aimed at sharing findings of a citizen’s survey of
Mahanadi pollution at Sonepur and seeking cooperation of the participants in
furthering the state wide campaign “Healthy Mahanadi, Happy Cities” that aims
at linking urban people to the river so that they can love, respect and protect
the Mother River of Odisha.
This voluntary state wide campaign was launched at Sambalpur on 29th June
2013 and we are trying to cover all cities of the basin.
Sonepur is a very small city but is based at a very important position
on the banks of the River Mahanadi. Our citizen’s survey found out that
at least 5000 people - that is near to 25 per cent of the entire city’s
population - defecates on the banks of the river. This makes the open
defecation ratio almost 1000 people per kilometre in the bank of river
here. This is too huge considering the small size of the
city. (Ranjan Panda)
The city generates at least 17, 50,000 litres of waste water on a daily
basis. This added with about 11.50 metric tonne of solid waste ultimately
find their way to the river and pollute that heavily. Sonepur still has
the opportunity to correct these problems and create a good example in talking
River Pollution. (Ranjan Panda)
Sonepur has about about 18 bathing ghats in which more
than 5000 people bathe daily. The drains discharge heavily polluted water
into theghats exposing the people to severe health hazards.
The garbage and solid waste management of the city is also disastrous and
besides polluting the ponds of the city, they are also polluting the river
heavily. (Shyama Om Prasad Mishra, Nature for All)
Noted environmentalist Prof. Arttabandhu Mishra spoke about the dying
fate of river Mahanadi as a whole and urged upon the Sonepur city dwellers to
start a concerted drive without further delay to save it. “Mahanadi’s
capacity to dilute pollution has been chocked by Hirakud dam. The basin
needs efforts to rejuvenate the feeding nullahs and rivulets
and all the surface water bodies. The polluting industries need also be
checked from discharging their pollutants into the River.” (Prof. Mishra)
Senior social worker of Sonepur Shri Hara Prasad Ratha presided over the
consultation and asked all the journalists and other citizens of the city to
join hands in this historic opportunity to save Mahanadi.
Mr. Ambuj Bihari Satapathy of RARE welcomed the participants and Mr.
Benudhar Pradhan of Mahanadi Sahitya Sansad gave away the vote of thanks.
The programme ended with a resolution to take a number of local actions
to save Mahanadi from pollution at Sonepur. A local coordination
committee was formed which will work with the Mahanadi River Waterkeeper on
For further information please contact:
Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha
Mahanadi River Waterkeeper (Member, Global Waterkeeper Alliance)
join with us in saving Mahanadi, India's 6th largest River...
Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) is a state level coalition of civil
society organisations, farmers, academia, media and other concerned, which has
been working on water, environment and climate change issues in the state for
more than two and half decades now.