Development of Sanand, a boon or a threat for Nalsarovar?
Development of Sanand seems to be a bad news for Gujarat’s only Ramsar Site, Nalsarovar. Things started changing after relocation of Tata Motors Nano plant from Singur in West Bengal in 2008 to Sanand. Soon giants like Ford and Peugeot moved their manufacturing plants in Sanand. The development boom was so that people call Sanand ‘Detroit of the East’.
All this development is happening just 30-40 km away from Nalsarovar in Sanand. There is no infrastructure to dispose the waste flowing towards Nalsarovar and that is certainly ruining quality of water there.
More than 200 types of birds mainly waterfowl inhabit Nalsarovar in Gujarat and come from as far as Siberia. Threats endangering Nalsarovar bird sanctuary in a study conducted by a well-known university based in Ahmedabad.
The study states that the threat to the Nalsarovar wetland’s water quality is mainly because the Sanand – Chharodi region is witnessing fast industrial growth. In addition, Sanand-Nalsarovar Road is experiencing a huge real estate boom. There was also a sudden realization among the realtors of setting up there holiday home scheme seeing the lakes serene surroundings and superb road connectivity.
Main concerns highlighted in the study suggest that the absence of basic services and amenities in the area like lack of industrial waste treatment facilities increases the possibilities that the water contamination of Nalsarovar as the untreated and toxic waste can flow in Nalsarovar Lake and around.
Every lake has catchment area from where it receives water through various surface. Nalsarovar Bird sanctuary has a catchment area of approx 3,000 sq km and Sanand falls under it. Government shall take precautionary measures or it might emerge as a threat to Nalsarovar. Study suggest that setting up a Eco-sensitive zone of 2km, 5km or 10 will not be enough until the issue of industrial waste flowing in to Nalsarovar is solved.