Toxic Foam on Indrayani River Raises Alarms Ahead of Ashadhi Wari Palkhi

Toxic Foam on Indrayani River Raises Alarms Ahead of Ashadhi Wari Palkhi

Toxic Foam on Indrayani River Raises Alarms Ahead of Ashadhi Wari Palkhi

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Citizens and environmental activists urge strict action from authorities as toxic foam threatens rituals and health of Warkaris.

23 June 2024

Pune: With the Ashadhi Wari Palkhi just days away, concerns are mounting over the state of the Indrayani River. A thick layer of toxic foam has formed on the river, alarming citizens and environmental activists.

They have called on the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to take immediate and stringent action against the polluters.

As Warkaris prepare for their pilgrimage to Alandi and Dehu, they are confronted with the distressing sight of pollution in the Indrayani River. This river, crucial for their rituals, has been contaminated by chemicals and untreated waste. Environmentalists highlight that industrial discharge and laundry waste are the main culprits.

Health Risks for Devotees

The Indrayani River holds significant religious importance, especially during the Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Palkhi Procession. Lakhs of pilgrims are expected to bathe in the river and use its water for drinking. However, the presence of toxic foam poses severe health risks, potentially causing diseases among the devotees. This recurring issue has led to repeated complaints to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, but effective action remains elusive.

Despite the religious and cultural significance of the Indrayani River, pollution has been a constant issue. The chemicals released from nearby industries have severely degraded the water quality. Activists and citizens are now questioning the responsiveness of the Pollution Control Board, the Alandi Municipal Council, and the local administration in addressing this critical issue.

With the Ashadhi Wari Palkhi approaching, there is an urgent need for concrete measures to tackle the pollution. Citizens and environmental groups are demanding not just promises but visible actions to clean the river and prevent future contamination. They hope that the river can be restored to a state where it can once again flow freely and healthily, free from industrial pollutants.

So far, the response from the authorities has been inadequate. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board has been accused of ignoring the severity of the situation, while the state government has been criticized for offering only empty promises. The local community and Warkaris are calling for immediate and effective intervention to ensure the river’s sanctity and safety.

The pollution in the Indrayani River is not just an environmental issue but a significant cultural and health concern. As the Ashadhi Wari Palkhi procession nears, the demand for clean and safe river water grows louder. It is imperative for the PCMC, MPCB, and state authorities to take swift and decisive action to address this pressing issue, ensuring that the river remains a safe and sacred part of the pilgrimage for years to come.