PUNE: Here is good news about water. The aquifers (bodies of permeable rock which can contain or transmit groundwater) in rural areas in Pune district are not contaminated by microplastics, according to senior hydrogeologists at Groundwater Surveys and Development Agency (GSDA). However, the GSDA has yet to come up with their report on the condition of aquifers in urban areas.
The State Government started ‘Jalswarajya Project’ in 2014 to study aquifers and groundwater level in 22 villages of Shirur, Purandar and Khed talukas. No microplastic content was found in these aquifers. However, the urban areas of the district are yet to be studied.
Dr Pramod Reddy, Senior Geologist of Pune District, GSDA, said, “The State Government started the Maharashtra Rural Water Supply and Sanitation ‘Jalswarajya’ Project in 2014 to study aquifers of rural areas and this project is expected to get over in 2020. We are studying four aquifers in 22 villages of Shirur, Purandar and Khed talukas. While researching on it we have not found any kind of contamination not even of microplastic content in the aquifers. The urban area aquifers will be studied after completion of this project.”
Upendra Dhonde, city-based groundwater expert, said, “There is a need to keep a check on aquifers of urban areas as there is a probability that microplastics and other things might have contaminated the aquifers.”
Meanwhile, activists say the actual need is to check aquifers in urban areas due to growing pollution. Ravindra Sinha, convenor of Bhujal Abhiyaan, said, “The State Government never carries out any project or survey to check aquifers or groundwater condition in urban areas. Therefore we are going to request the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to check groundwater quality in urban areas. I am sure it will be contaminated.”
Sinha said recently the groundwater of Wagholi turned yellow due to garbage burning over last several years.
He said, “Garbage burning has been taking place in Wagholi for several years. The residents contacted us as their groundwater had turned yellow. We were shocked to see that due to garbage burning, lytchest were formed which then percolated into the groundwater and turned it yellow. Therefore a check on urban groundwater is mandatory. Also a check on private tankers supplying water from borewells is mandatory.”
Wagholi Housing Society Association Director Sanjeev Kumar Patil said that in Wagholi Gaothan a vacant land of 25 gunthas has been converted into a garbage dumping yard and there is no processing plant.
“All types of mixed garbage is dumped in the yard. From last several years garbage burning is taking place. Recently water from a borewell is situated next to the yard turned yellow. We have informed the Gram Panchayat but still no positive action has been taken to curb the issue,” Patil further said.