Hyderabad: About 854 million litres per day (MLD) of sewage is dumped into the Musi river, making it eighth-most polluted amongst 46 metropolitan Indian cities.
Worse, it has a Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) range of 8.6-165 mg/litre, third-highest in the country. BOD is also known as biochemical oxygen dem-and, and it refers to the amount of oxygen required for the biotic degradation of organic matter.
As a pollution parameter, it is used to assess the quality of effluent or wastewater. Untreated wastewater has usually a high oxygen demand.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had brought it up less than a week ago, saying successive governments and civic bodies had failed to keep the river in the pink of health. This is despite having the fourth-highest number of sewage treatment plants on its banks —numbering 13. These STPs have the capacity to treat 657.3 MLD of sewage.
Experts note that having lots of STPs may not bode well for a river’s health, and rubbish them as money-making models of the government. “If there are so many sewage treatment plants, then why does the river always figure as one of the most polluted rivers in the country?” B.V. Subba Rao, a noted city-based environmentalist, wondered.
Residents along the river banks rue that it has served as a dump for effluents and waste for years. Setting up new STPs would serve no purpose. “This river has been the source of water for irrigation but with the rising level of pollution, even the agrarian produce harms the human body. What we need is an Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP), not STP. There are farms that produce vegetables with an acrid stench,” said S. Pitla of Kukatpally, who has been fighting for a cleaner river.
While some residents claim that pollution continues unabated, others have blamed the apathy of the powers-that-be and ask them to check emissions.
“Where is the technology that they government trumpets for everything? Why isn’t it used to clean the river?” questions B Shankar of Edulabad....