Almost all of us have heard the story of the blue jackal that becomes king of the jungle after accidentally falling into a drum full of dye, but these dogs in Navi Mumbai's Taloja industrial area are turning blue for altogether a different reason - pollution.
The untreated industrial wastes being dumped into the Kasadi river is dyeing their fur a bright shade of blue. These stray dogs often enter the river in search of food and water.
The Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell has filed a complaint with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) on Thursday in this regard. The complaint claims that industrial effluents and dyes are being directly released into the river by nearby industrial units.
Taloja industrial area has nearly a 1,000 pharmaceutical, food and engineering factories, said reports.
Unlike our Panchatantra story of the jackal, which got royal treatment in the jungle because of its blue colour, these dogs are staring at health hazards due to the exposure to dangerous industrial chemicals. The polluted water is also likely to affect human health.
A recent test of the water quality by Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation also found that waste treatment was inadequate. This could seriously affect levels of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), which is essential for aquatic life to survive.
Members of a local fishing community have raised concerns about the pollution levels in the river. Animal rights activists also fear that birds, reptiles and other creatures may even have died due to high pollution levels.