Nation Other News 01 Aug 2022 Water pollution cont ...

Water pollution continues to be hazardous to life in Hyderabad

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | AARTI KASHYAP
Published Aug 1, 2022, 10:03 pm IST
Updated Aug 2, 2022, 4:38 pm IST
According to Dr Shiva Raju K., head of medicine department at KIMS Hospital, chronic and acute waterborne diseases caused by contaminated water can be classified based on the chemicals and bacteria present in the water. "Considering the pollution in the Musi river, heavy rains bring water-borne diseases such as typhoid, viral Hepatitis A and E, diarrhoea, dysentery, and acute gastrointestinal infections.” (Photo: Pixabay)
 According to Dr Shiva Raju K., head of medicine department at KIMS Hospital, chronic and acute waterborne diseases caused by contaminated water can be classified based on the chemicals and bacteria present in the water. "Considering the pollution in the Musi river, heavy rains bring water-borne diseases such as typhoid, viral Hepatitis A and E, diarrhoea, dysentery, and acute gastrointestinal infections.” (Photo: Pixabay)

Hyderabad: Untreated water from chemical and pharmaceutical companies is being directly discharged into Hussainsagar and Musi, along with hazardous waste, domestic sewage, and garbage, posing a risk to the downtown villages.

Environmental experts noted that groundwater contamination was a major issue in the areas where the Musi and Krishna rivers meet at Vadapally. Nearby villages at this intersection have complained about the groundwater in borewells becoming contaminated over time due to the seepage from the Musi.

Prof. Purushotham Reddy Kumbham, an environmentalist, emphasised that the city's water contamination problem was not limited to Hussainsagar and Musi. "To understand the city's water pollution, one must first understand the history of industrialisation in Hyderabad," he noted. Pharmaceutical industries that thrived in the 1970s and 1980s, including the major industry Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (IDBL) in Balanagar, which acquired 990 acres of land, contributed significantly to waterbody and groundwater contamination, particularly in industrial areas."

Hyderabad has three major common effluent treatment plants (ETPs) at Jeedimetla, Patancheru, and Bolaram, but these are inadequate. Partially treated water effluents are eventually discharged into Musi via direct pipelines, reaching Hussainsagar and the Musi river basin. “The contaminated and toxic water that flows down the Musi up to Suryapet enters the fields in the downtown stream villages,” stated Prof. Purushotham Reddy.

According to Dr Shiva Raju K., head of medicine department at KIMS Hospital, chronic and acute waterborne diseases caused by contaminated water can be classified based on the chemicals and bacteria present in the water. "Considering the pollution in the Musi river, heavy rains bring water-borne diseases such as typhoid, viral Hepatitis A and E, diarrhoea, dysentery, and acute gastrointestinal infections.”

He stated that excess metal toxicity and chemical elements in the groundwater had proven to be a major health threat. “Excess chemical elements and metals in the water such as mercury, selenium, cadmium, and copper because of contamination from plastic waste, chemical industries can bring different types of health disorders," he said. Menstrual irregularities, fertility issues, anaemia, and various infections are all long-term issues for women. These can also have an effect on children's cognitive abilities as they age, he noted.

Meanwhile, Edulabad village sarpanch B.Shankar told Deccan Chronicle,  "Borewells located approximately 2 kilometres along the Musi River's banks are receiving contaminated water from Patancheru's chemical and pharmaceutical industries. During March, April, and May, highly concentrated polluted water flows from the Musi to the village and eventually into the groundwater."

The sarpanch stated that the milk output of cows and buffaloes had decreased over time from around eight litres to three to four litres. Cattle were experiencing miscarriage and an increase in the number of abortions, as well as intestinal and gut diseases, to name a few.

“Animals and cattle drink polluted water, and we have seen serious illnesses in cows and buffaloes as a result. Unfortunately, we are unable to find a remedy to the problem. The only thing we are fortunate about is that we are not using the river water for our drinking needs. However, we use the same water for farming in our fields, and farmers are hesitant to eat grains grown in their fields," he added.

Despite several letters to officials from the Pollution Control Board, HMDA, and irrigation department, no one has paid a visit to the village in the last six years. "I pressed the authorities to build an effluent treatment plant in the village, but nothing was done,” he said.

J. Sumathi, a scientist with the Telangana Pollution Control Board, was unavailable for comment.

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Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad




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