Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 8:
The threat of water contamination looms large as the state-owned Odisha State Cooperative Milk Producers Federation (OMFED) plant at Chandrasekharpur here has been releasing untreated water down the drain.
Taking note of this violation, the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) has issued a show-cause notice to the dairy firm.
After several reminders from the OSPCB, the authorities of the dairy cooperative have sought 18-month time to sort out the issues.
Notably, the milk producing unit started production in the early 1980s having an effluent treatment plant (ETP) with the capacity to treat 200 kilo litres of water a day.
With time, the demand for milk and milk products increased manifold, but the capacity of ETP has not been augmented. Moreover, waste water is discharged untreated as the existing ETP frequently suffers glitches.
As per reports, the milk cooperative unit here is producing 2.5 lakh litres of milk using 400 kilo litre water everyday. The plant is allegedly releasing the untreated water to the drainage system contaminating the nearby water sources in the process and raising concerns of spread of water-borne diseases in the locality.
“The effluents are highly toxic which increases the Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and decreases the oxygen content when mixed with water sources as a result of which it emanates foul odour. For industrial waste water, the permissible limit of BOD is 30 ml in one litre water. However, the waste water released from OMFED plant here contains three times the BOD level permissible,” OSPCB regional officer, Bhubaneswar, Hadibandhu Panigrahi said.
In view of this, OMFED has been served a show-cause notice and asked to fix the issue of waste treatment failing which the OSPCB would take stringent action against it.
“We have sought time from the Board to comply with the norms and we are taking measures for capacity expansion of the ETP,” OMFED Chairman-cum-Managing Director Bishnupada Sethi said.
When asked about how the effluents are being released presently, he dodged the query.