Kurnool: Kurnool Municipal Corporation (KMC) has been letting out untreated sewage discharges into the Tungabhadra River and thereby contaminating fresh water. The inordinate delay in the construction of sewerage treatment plants (STPs) and the official apathy in addressing pollution issues is making life terrible for the citizens.
A resident wondered "The KMC is slapping user charges for collecting garbage and slapping fines when any garbage is thrown in the open but who will fine it for its negligence in letting out untreated sewage into Tungabhadra river?"
AP Pollution Control Board (APPCB) environmental engineer Muni Prasad said "A stretch of Tungabhadra where effluents join the river needs to be addressed. In the rainy season, water quality is slightly tolerable as rainwater thins and floats out effluents. But otherwise, there is a need for a sewerage treatment plant".
He said that a meeting is being convened by the district collector where KMC and irrigation officials will discuss measures to tackle the issue.
“KMC is hampering public health and polluting Tungabhadra water,” said Damodar Reddy, a resident. The city with a population of six lakh consumes 80 million litres per day. He cited Supreme Court judgments that fined municipalities for polluting rivers.
Another resident recalled the 'polluter pays' principle stating that those who produce pollution should bear the costs of managing it to prevent damage to human health or the environment.
When contacted, KMC commissioner DK Balaji said the government has accorded sanctions for construction of STP against a projected cost of `79.78 crore.
“It is awaiting technical sanction (TS) from the engineer-in-chief. We will float tenders once the TS is accorded," he said....