Pollutants: Chemicals

Location: India

Transmission: water , soil 

Source: Chemical Manufacturing

Number of potentially affected people: 8,000

The Problem

Bicchadi was a small industrial estate (320 hectares or 791 acres) manufacturing dyes and dye intermediaries in the state of Rajasthan, was ordered closed by the government in 1990 (though manufacturing appears to have continued in some plants till 1995). It remains a significantly polluted place due to inadequate remediation post-closure. Indiscriminate surface dumping of sludge, along with irrigation with contaminated groundwater since 1989-90, has contributed to devastating soil contamination.

According to the Centre for Science and Environment, the groundwater of Bichhri is stark red. And as the groundwater moves naturally to other aquifers, it pollutes that water as well. Seventy wells used by some 10,000 residents have been rendered completely useless, and 22 villages are without any drinking water now.

Current Situation

This town in Rajasthan is now analyzing solutions to remediate its groundwater contamination. Severely contaminated with cancerous dyes and chemicals from defunct industries, the drinking water has been rendered highly toxic. This stakeholders group is a significant attempt to design and implement a solution to this problem. The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute has been assigned the task of cleaning the water.