Hyderabad: Water in many stretches of the Krishna river does not meet the standards mandated by the Central Pollution Control Board, because of which devotees heading for the Pushkaralu should take precautions to avoid falling ill.
The river water at many places has coliform bacteria, like E.coli which attack the digestive system and which are becoming resistant to many antibiotics thereby making treatment difficult.
As per the CPCB standards, total coliforms for organised outdoor bathing should be less than 500 Most Probable Number of coliform per 100ml of water.
In AP, of the six water quality monitoring stations that the Pollution Control Board set up along the river, five — Srisailam, Vedadri, Amaravati, Prakasam Barrage and Hamsaladevi — showed total coliform above 500 MPN/100 ml.
Telangana State Pollution Control Board officials did not provide data recorded at the three water quality monitoring stations at Thangadi, Gadwal in Mahbubnagar and Vadapally in Nalgonda district.
However, an earlier report of the CPCB puts the total coliform at 1,900 at Thangadi with 494 average value and 820 and 205 at Gadwal. At Wadapally the average value was 60,000. In 2015, certain stretches of the Krishna in AP and TS were identified as among the 302 most polluted in the country.
In AP, a 270-km stretch had BOD value ranging between 3.5-5.3mg/l and in Telangana, an 80-km stretch was identified with BOD between 6-2.4mg/l. As per CPCB standards, BOD should be 3mg/l or less for outdoor organised bathing.
During the Godavari Pushkaralu last year, many pilgrims complained of diarrhoea, nausea, fever and skin rashes after taking a dip.