Toxic metals released from thermal power plants damaging livelihood, health of people in Maharashtra: Study
A study has found that Maharashtra State Power Generation Company's (Mahagenco) Khaparkheda and Koradi thermal power plants are causing life threats and damaging the livelihood of people residing in nearby areas.
The study that was carried out jointly by Nagpur's Centre for Sustainable Development (CFSD), Pune's Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, and ASAR Social Impact Advisors Private Limited found that due to these plants, surface and groundwater are contaminated with toxic metals like mercury, arsenic, aluminum, and lithium.
It has recorded widespread contamination of air, water, and soil due to unscientific disposal and handling of fly ash.
A survey revealed that out of 21, 18 villages are being affected due to fly ash depositing in various parts of the village. It has also been found that airborne fly ash is leading to extensive air pollution.
Speaking to ANI, Leena Buddhe, Director, Centre for Sustainable Development (CFSD) said, "These plants are creating difficulties in the survival of the people residing nearby. The pollution is increased due to toxic ash released from plants being mixed in the air."
"We have released a report after a discussion held with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), Ministry of Environment and Forest, and other bureaucrats," Buddhe said.
The CFSD director said, "the situation is very grim and pollution level is very much high in nearby areas. If the action is not being taken on time then we have to relocate 21 villages as their livelihood and health are adversely affected."
Akshay Bile, a farmer said that farming is becoming very difficult day by day as the soil is becoming toxic and unproductive.
"These plants should shut down. There is no productivity in this area as it used to earlier," Bile said.
Another farmer, Ramkrishna Bide added, "We are not able to grow tomato chili and flowers in the land as the soil is very toxic."