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Vapi, India

A picturesque sunset in Vapi, India filtered through smog


As home to a huge portion of the nations industries, Vapi is a city whose waters and lands are
highly contaminated with harmful chemicals and metals. Its groundwater reportedly contains
mercury, the level of which is 96 times higher than whats considered safe by the World Health
Organization. Repeated exposure to mercury over a long period of time can lead to scores of
medical conditions such as muscle weakness, impaired peripheral vision, and other neurological
deficits, to cite a few examples.
The waters arent the only unsafe things, either. The local produce and air also contain heavy
metals. Clearly, industrialization has cost the residents of Vapi too dearly.

Blacksmith Institute has removed Vapi (India) from the list of top ten
worlds worst polluted places.

More recent information regarding pollution levels has been given to us by


government authorities, and pollution levels in air and water are significantly
improved from earlier data sets. Significant investments have been made, both
in pollution control technologies for specific industries, and in common treatment
plants. These show reduced pollution in Vapi. Air pollution in and around Vapi is
now generally within government standards.

Groundwater in surrounding areas has also been sampled authoritatively, and


shows significant improvement. Earlier statements regarding mercury levels in
groundwater, and health effects in villages, have proven to be false.

Drinking water in the town and surrounding villages is clean, and well supplied,
according to reliable test data. There are no significant health implications
regarding drinking water, according to a detailed health assessment conducted
by Dr. Ratnam of PARIRAKSHANA.

Significant effort has gone into stopping illegal dumping within the industrial
estate, as it is not tolerated by the Vapi Industrial Association. Dumps outside of
the estate still exist, and are being dealt with appropriately.

There is improvement in roads and footpaths. All the open gutters are covered,
and drainage from plant to the CETP is well established. Flowering shrubs cover
both sides of the roads. Tens of thousands of trees have been planted, in and
around Vapi.

The Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) continues to be upgraded and


improve its performance, and new investments being tested should bring all tests
to within government standards by the end of this year. Heavy metals are well
managed - only COD regularly exceeds government standards.

The Industries Association has built a Center of Excellence to improve the quality
of products, testing of the materials, and advising VIA members on reducing
effluents and pollution.

Vapi is good example of how industry has proactively worked to improve their
environment. They are to be commended for these activities, and while more work still
needs to be done, their commitment to work with government and NGO alike to solve
common problems is one that should be replicated throughout India.