There are far too many stories in the news of animals who have been abused or neglected.
These animals need our help. But there are other animals who also need our help. We all know that there are homeless animals who are in need of a loving family.
There is also another group of animals whose cause deserves greater attention.
In some parts of the world, pollution has reached epidemic proportions. In much of the industrialized world, governments set standards for permissible levels of pollution into the air and water.
But not all nations do this, and not all nations enforce these laws equally. The results for both people and animals can be disastrous.
Mumbai is considered by many to be a sophisticated metropolitan city. After all, it is the financial capital of India. But India’s environmental standards leave much to be lacking, even in such a populous area.
Residents living near Mumbai have recently been experiencing significant health issues. What they are seeing in their pets and stray dogs is absolutely unbelievable. And it is all due to untreated industrial waste dumped into the Kasadi River from nearby factories.
Animals including dogs, birds, and people have all been affected by pollution in Navi Mumbai. At least one dog has gone blind and others are having even worse reactions.
Arati Chauhan is the director of the animal protection shelter in Navi Mumbai. She is reportedly the first person who highlighted the growing problem animals are facing.
“It’s not just dogs. All other animals are being affected by the environment[al] pollution,” Chauhan told Sky News.
“I witnessed five such dogs. In fact, one of the dogs has gone blind.” Chauhan herself also became sick enough to see a doctor and her recovery is ongoing.
So, what happened that makes these sick dogs stand out? They are blue. That is correct. The pollution in the water is so severe that dogs who drink out of it and seek food from the area are actually turning blue.
“Workers in the factories and security men guarding various factories tell me they have health issues, breathing is a problem, but say, ‘We are helpless, we have to work here. It’s our bread and butter,’” Chauhan said.
The district of Taloja in which the contaminated river is found is home to approximately 1,000 factories producing pharmaceuticals, dyes, and food.
The health complaints of people and on behalf of animals resulted in a quality check being conducted to evaluate the waste treatment of the companies in the area.
Sky News reported that “the level of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) was 80 milligrams a litre.” For comparison, fish die when the BOD level exceeds 6mg/l. Levels above 3mg/l are considered by health experts to be unfit for human consumption.
Do the math. That means that the harmful pollution in the water was nearly 40 times higher than safe levels for humans and nearly 15 times higher than what is safe for marine life.
The results have led Chauhan to file a formal complaint with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board. Anil Mohekar, the regional officer for the board reportedly told reporters that his agency was aware of the complaint.
“Discharge of dye into any water body is illegal,” Mohekar said. “We will take action against the polluters as they are destroying the environment.”
One of the dye manufacturing factories has since been sealed by local authorities. However, Chauhan complained that only part of the factory had been sealed off and that the factory was still manufacturing dyes.
“It’s all hogwash,” she said. “How can only one factory pollute the entire area. Hundreds of factories are saving money by dumping toxins in the river instead of sending it to the mandatory common effluent treatment plant.”
Nearly 76,000 people are employed in the industrial area in Taloja, just outside of Mumbai. The factories there generate billions of pounds of income annually.
These dogs, other animals, and people are suffering due to the criminal negligence of these companies. While we all understand their need to make a living, it cannot be done at the expense of those we are seeing in this instance.
The blue dogs in and around the area are direct evidence of the dangers of allowing pollution at this level to continue. The only acceptable option, in this case, is for authorities to take the necessary measures to get the pollutants down to levels that are safe for people and animals.
While it is clear that the company making dyes is directly linked to the contamination the dogs are experiencing, additional investigations into the waste management strategies of the other nearby companies should also be evaluated.
This is especially true given the health problems that residents and employees of the companies have also complained about.
Source: Sky News