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Vapi, India (Update: Removed from list due to significant improvements)

Vapi, India (Update: Removed from list)

Update August 2009

Blacksmith Institute has removed Vapi (India) from the list of top ten world’s 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.
More details can be found in the attached reports and appendices.