By Rayiah Ross
Authorities in Mumbai have shut down Ducol Organics factory, which centers around the manufacturing of cyclic organic crudes, intermediates, organic dyes, and pigments, after being accused of dumping untreated, polluted waste and dyes into the local river resulting in eleven dogs turning blue. The Ducol Organics factory, located outside Mumbai, employed almost 76,000 people and generated billions of pounds a year for the economy. According to The Hindustan Time, first spotted on August 11, citizens contacted Maharashtra Pollution Control Board about blue colored canines. On Demand News, it shows footage of the blue dogs roaming the streets with bright blue fur. It later emerged that the stray dogs had been wandering through the Kasadi river in search of food and the untreated wasted had stained their fur.
There are claims that at least one dog had gone blind and other animals, such as birds, were also affected by the pollution. “It was shocking to see how the dog’s white fur had turned completely blue,” said Arati Chauhan, head of the Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell, told the Times. “We have spotted almost five such dogs here and have asked the pollution control board to act against such industries.”
Arati Chauhan, who runs the Navi Mumbai animal protection shelter, was the first to highlight the issue. Ms. Chauhan and her group have now filed a complaint with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). Anil Mohekar, regional officer of the board, told Sky News reporters they were aware of the complaint, adding: “Discharge of dye into any water body is illegal. We will take action against the polluters as they are destroying the environment.” Ms. Chauhan claimed only part of the factory was sealed closed from the rest of the environment and not the manufacturing unit.
There are about 1,000 pharmaceutical, dye manufacturing and food factories in the Taloja district. According to official guidelines, fish die when the biochemical oxygen demand level is too high it makes the water unfit for human consumption. For years, local activists have complained to authorities of indiscriminate dumping of untreated effluents into the river, but have had no assistance. Now, they just might finally have peace.