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Musi and Nakkavagu among India's most polluted

Musi and Nakkavagu among India
Highlights

The infamous Musi and Nakkavagu rivers have been identified as the most polluted rivers in the country by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The report states that these two water bodies have to be treated on priority but doesn’t offer a solution for the process.

The infamous Musi and Nakkavagu rivers have been identified as the most polluted rivers in the country by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The report states that these two water bodies have to be treated on priority but doesn’t offer a solution for the process. Over 150 rivers and lakes across India were surveyed and categorised under five Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) levels.

Musi and Nakkavagu were positioned in priority level 1. Meanwhile Manjeera River, the tributary of which is Nakkavagu, made it to level 3 and Maneru that flows near Warangal was placed in level 5. The exercise was undertaken by the CPCB to identify the lakes that require restoring and maintenance to be used for various competing as well as conflicting demands.

The rivers in the list come as no surprise but environmentalists found fault with the CPCB using BOD and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) as a measure for categorising the lakes. “BOD and COD are outdated concepts when it comes to measuring pollution. The categorisation has to be done based on the presence of heavy metals like lead, cobalt, cadmium, zinc and mercury. The poisoning by these causes more damage,” opined Purushottam Reddy, a noted environmentalist.

It is a common assumption that pharma industries are the reason for polluting Musi. But Reddy argues that domestic sewage and bad handling of solid wastes play their part as well. “Five decades ago domestic sewage was mostly organic as people used sheekai and other naturally available products. The STPs are designed to handle organic sewage and not chemical sewage that is generated by shampoos and soaps,” he opined.

According to the report, the BOD levels in Nakkavagu were at 50 mg/l and the pharma and chemical industries in Jeedimetla were to be blamed. Though Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) was established, there were too many questions on its working and by the time it was established the damage had been done. “The Nakkavagu being polluted has affected the Manjeera River. But the water that the city receives is not as polluted as the Nakkavagu as it emerges from the Manjeera River ahead of the city,” informed Reddy.

By:Aditya Parankusam

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