Poisonous substance in vegetables cultivated around Odisha capital

Reported by Ranjan Pradhan
Bhubaneswar, Aug 31:

Improperly processed industrial waste from Mancheswar industrial area in the Odisha capital, coupled with heavily polluted drain water from the residential areas of the city released into rivers such as Gangua, Daya, Bhargabi and Kuakhai, have resulted in polluted farmlands in adjacent areas.


As per a recent study by Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Water Management Directorate on ‘Impact of urban waste water irrigation on soil and crops’, all farmlands around these rivers of Bhubaneswar are already polluted and the vegetables grown on these soils are ‘dangerous’.

“The plants usually have a capacity to absorb these minerals, but till a point.  Beyond the limit, these chemicals can lead to health issues among consumers. The effect of these vegetables on human health is worse in vegetables that are consumed directly as compared to the cooked ones,” said Bandita Jena, Assistant Professor of Soil Science at OUAT.

As per a recent research carried out by All India Coordinated Research Project, various types of poisonous substances have been found from the drains of the city.

Heavy metals such as arsenic, nickel, chromium, zinc, iron, manganese, mercury and cadmium of higher quantities than usual have been found from water of these areas. Apart from heavy metals, dangerous substances like synthetic detergent, soap, protozoa, nitrogen phosphorous, potassium, various types of bacteria along with many other types of chemical substances have also been found in the water.

Evidence of these substances have been found from the water samples taken from 17 various places of the city such as Jayadev Vihar main drain, Mancheswar Industrial Estate, Badagada Brit Colony, VSS Nagar, Palasuni Daya West Canal, Sainik School, Chakeisiani etc.

The city of 8.5 Lakh denizens releases about 261 tonnes of polluted water into these rivers through 10 large drains. While the water of nine of these drains is released directly to Daya River via Gangua nullah, the water from Number-1 drain of Patia area is released into Kuakhai. The city houses more than 100 industries, 34 polluting industries and two large industrial areas. The untreated water from these areas are also released into these rivers polluting them further.

The resultant water pollution can lead to a potential health hazard, if it goes unchecked as hundreds of acres of farmlands get irrigated by the water from these rivers.


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