Hyderabad: After the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, and the formation of the separate Pollution Control Board, Hyderabad and its surrounding areas have become more prone to the pollution.
This is because the night patrolling system has been stopped. Citing changes and the induction of a new system due to the formation of the Telangana State Pollution Control Board, the night patrolling system has been stopped and a new proposal for a rolling task force was proposed. However, nothing seems to have materialised as a result of which polluting industries are not being monitored.
"The proposed rolling task force is yet to be manned by staff scientists, technicians and guards. The schedule is also yet to be assigned. However, there is a shortage of staff and hence night patrolling has not started," said an official with TSPCB.
The night patrolling system plays a key role in monitoring violations. Whenever complaints about industries releasing effluents or any other pollution causing practices are received, the task force raids those places. It collects samples of effluents and conduct tests and sends the reports to the regional and head offices.
P. Ramesh Chandra, former environmental scientist with the AP Pollution Control Board, said,"Most of the deliberate violations by the polluting industries take place at night. The industries that cause air pollution are found to be manufacturing products more than the permitted limit and lack installed equipments which are capable of filtering pollutants and releasing it in the air.
Similarly, the bulk drug and pharma units are found releasing effluents in nalas and lakes. Some dump hazardous effluents by tankers in far-off areas." The erstwhile task force used to work in two teams. The teams also included technical, scientific experts and two guards. Also, the staff from the regional offices of Hyderabad,
RC Puram and Ranga Reddy, used to take part in the patrolling and address the complaints. Team ‘A’ used to patrol Kazipally, Gaddipocharam, Bollaram, Patancheru, Pashamailaram, Jeedimetla during the night.
Team ‘B’ would patrol the Musi river, Nagole bridge to Uppal at night. The task forces also conducted regular monitoring of Jeedimetla Effluent Treatment. Complaints lodged through phone calls were also addressed by these teams. Industries that resort to violations of environmental norms and release the effluents were scared of these task forces.
However, the task force was dissolved following complaints of corruption. As a result, the TSPCB came up with the idea of assigning one different authority on a daily basis rolling system.