The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board just shut down a manufacturing company in Mumbai after some unlikely whistleblowers drew attention to the pollutants the company was dumping in the Kasadi river. According to The Guardian, animals frequently swim in the waters, and a group of dogs were noticeably different after their dip. The feral dogs's light-colored coats absorbed blue dye, turning them into a very noticeable sign that things were not all they should be:
Arati Chauhan, head of the Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell, told The Hindustan Times, that more than one dog was spotted by the river with blue fur.
“It was shocking to see how the dog’s white fur had turned completely blue,” said Chauhan. “We have spotted almost five such dogs here and have asked the pollution control board to act against such industries.”
In a post on the group's Facebook page, Chauhan wrote, "Pollutants from Taloja Industrial area not only ruining the water bodies affecting humans there but also affecting Animals, Birds, Reptiles. Blue dye entering water bodies," continuing with, "Consuming polluted water leads to Cancer, Liver, Kidney damage. Skin irritation, rashes, if comes in contact with eyes may lead to Blindness. Activist Yogesh is seen striving hard to raise the issues of how the Kasadi River is been ruined by the Industrial belt."
The Hindustan Times reports that the source of the dye was untreated industrial waste being released into both the air and water from a private company, Ducol Organics. The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation has been asked to cut off the water to the business. When the firm was inspected, the pollution board discovered they'd been taking no measures to clean or treat the water they were dumping in the water.
The regional officer of the pollution board, Anil Mohekar, explained to reporters, “There are a set of norms that every industry needs to follow. After our sub-regional officers confirmed media reports that dogs were indeed turning blue due to air and water pollution, we conducted a detailed survey at the plant.”
“Ducol Organics Pvt Ltd. is harming animals and birds in the area. We cannot let such an industry function. We will ensure that the plant does not function from Monday and the decision sets an example for other polluting industries, which may not be following pollution abatement measures,” he continued.
Chauhan, however, is not satisfied with the actions of the board, as regulation is an issue for all companies in the area.
“Shutting down one industry, as MPCB has done, only results in daily wage laborers losing their bread and butter. There are many other industries in the area that pose a threat to the flora, fauna and a threat of more such cases is a possibility,” she said. “There is a need for pollution monitoring of all plants and development of adequate green cover around industrial sites.”
On the bright side, all five dogs were examined by veterinarians and one was tested for pathologies. The dye is water soluble and they seem to have suffered no permanent ill effects. They were only unwitting guard dogs briefly facing off against pollution.