Pimpri, 6th January 2024: Maharashtra Minister Tanaji Sawant expressed deep concerns over the alarming health risks posed by pollution in the Ujani dam. Citing a recent environment department report, the minister warned that over 90% of future generations in multiple districts of Maharashtra and Karnataka could be susceptible to cancer due to contaminated water from the dam.
Minister Sawant highlighted the influx of industrial effluents from Pune and nearby areas into the Ujani dam through the Mula and Mutha rivers. According to the report, the contamination is a result of untreated water carrying harmful chemicals, posing a severe health threat to the residents in the affected regions. Sawant emphasized the urgent need for treated water released into these rivers to mitigate the risk of cancer.
Addressing the issue of excessive chemical usage by farmers in Punjab and Maharashtra, Sawant identified it as a significant contributor to the rising cases of cancer. Drawing parallels between the situations in both states, the minister emphasized that farmers, in their pursuit of self-sufficiency, resort to various chemicals to boost yields. He urged for a collective consideration of the consequences of such practices on public health.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the response from municipal commissioners on health issues, Minister Sawant urged the Chief Minister to incorporate hospitals within municipal corporation limits under his department. Despite receiving significant funds from the Centre, only 14% of the allocated amount has been utilized, as municipal corporations appear more focused on development plans and encroachments than addressing critical health concerns.
Minister Sawant pledged to ensure proper treatment for patients by taking charge of hospitals within municipal corporation limits. He emphasized the need for a shift in focus from developmental plans to urgent health interventions, indicating that immediate action is necessary to address the health risks posed by pollution in the Ujani dam and the use of harmful chemicals in agriculture.