The blue dogs of Mumbai have been all over the news lately. They might be visually striking, but these dogs are turning blue thanks to pollution. Mumbai's polluted river, the Kasardi River, is bordered by nearly a thousand different factories, and not all of these factories adhere to environmental regulations.
Thankfully, it's not a bizarre genetic mutation – but blue dye from a pigment factory has been releasing untreated chemicals into the river and the air. Animal welfare agencies and pollution regulation groups are stepping in to deal with the situation, but the problem is far from solved.
Blue dogs in India serve as a powerful (and colorful) symbol of the massive harm that pollution does to the environment and its inhabitants, not just in India, but all over the world.
Industrial Waste Is To Blame
The biggest question on most readers minds is, of course: Why are all these dogs turning blue? While some people might be imagining a more mythical reason, it's actually a case of serious environmental pollution. Ducol Organics & Colours Pvt Ltd has been releasing untreated dye into the water and into the air.
Some sources state that the dogs are wading in the Kasardi River – which is absolutely loaded with dye – while others claim that the dogs live right next to the factory. Either way, several dogs's fur have been died a vibrant shade of blue, which remains until the powdery dye is washed away either through bathing or time spent in the rain.
The Area Is Rife With Factories
The Kasardi River, a possible source of the pollution, flows though the Taloja industrial area. Said area contains 977 chemical, pharmaceutical, engineering and food processing factories.
While some are environmentally conscious, many ignore guidelines, resulting in a dramatically polluted river. As a result, there are frequent reports of industrial waste catching on fire, and dead fish appearing in the rivers throughout the area.
Animal Welfare Agencies Are Getting Involved
With a potential health crisis for local dogs on the radar, local animal welfare agencies have had some work to do. The Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell, the group responsible for photographing the blue dogs, asked the Thane SPCA animal hospital to help treat any medical issues.
While they were taking care of the dog's medical needs, the cell took charge of educating the public about the potential harmful impact of environmental pollution.
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board Is Involved Too
While the animal welfare agencies focused on ensuring the wellbeing of the dogs themselves, the Maharashtra Pollution Control stepped in to try and prevent incidents like this from occurring in the future. As a result, Ducol Organics & Colours Pvt Ltd was given 15 days to fix their pollution problem.
What problems did they have to fix? According to sub-regional officer Jayant Hajare, “the firm does not have adequate air or water pollution monitoring equipment. This has lead to the emission and discharge of pollutants.” Besides that, the company has dumped untreated dyes into the river and released dye powder into the air. These activities are in violation of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981.