Godavari reeking of pollution

Godavari reeking of pollution
Highlights

The release of untreated industrial effluents into the river by companies located on Godavari banks in Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam districts may sound death knell for the lifeline if urgent conservation measures are not taken, they warned. 

Khammam: The mighty Godavari River reeling under severe industrial pollution is ringing alarm bells. Environmentalists have expressed concern over the grave threat posed by industrial pollution to the very existence of the perennial river with a delta spreading over 3.12 lakh square km.

The release of untreated industrial effluents into the river by companies located on Godavari banks in Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam districts may sound death knell for the lifeline if urgent conservation measures are not taken, they warned.

Though the Central government took up the Godavari River Pollution Control Scheme way back in 1991 at a cost of Rs 34.19 crore, it failed to achieve desired results in checking the inflow of untreated industrial effluents and sewage into the river due to lack of coordination among the local bodies in its implementation. The liberal allocation of the river water to heavy industries by the government has also become a bane.

According to a study, the industrial pollution of Godavari River water is high in Bhadradri district. The pilgrim town Bhadrachalam and about 50 villages situated on the river banks are likely to face severe drinking water crisis in near future. If the release of untreated industrial effluents and sewage into Godavari is not checked, the river water may not be fit for human consumption.

Speaking to The Hans India, environmentalist Mogili said: “People of villages located on the river banks are often falling ill due to consumption of contaminated water. The fish, prawns and others aqua species are facing extinction threat due to chemical contamination of the river water. Urgent measures need to be taken to save the Godavari River from the industrial pollution.”

Chandrasekhar, a representative of an NGO, said: “People living on the river banks in Bhadradri are expressing severe concern for quite a long time over increase in chemical pollution levels in Godavari, no steps have been taken to curb the release of untreated industrial effluents into the perennial source.

The PSUs and private companies located on the river banks are violating the pollution norms after using the river water for their industrial needs. But no action has been initiated against them. Even court directives on release of untreated industrial effluents into the river are being ignored polluting the lifeline of the State further.”

Venkateswarlu, a villager of Sarapaka, said: “The administration of the newly formed Bhadradri district should take effective measures to curb pollution of Godavari River. It should ensure that the PSUs and private companies located on the Godavari banks strictly adhere to the pollution control norms. The indiscriminate use of the river water for industrial needs should also be checked to save the lifeline of people.”

It is reliably learnt that those who take a holy dip in the River at Bhadrachalam are contracting skin diseases, while those who drink the river water are stated to be suffering from health problems because industries in the river catchment area are releasing industrial wastes into the river without first treating the effluents at the plant level.

To quote an example, the effluents from the ITCPSPD plant at Sarapaka in Burgampahad mandal are being released into the river at Nagineniprolu Reddy Palem village. Also, the drainage water from the temple town Bhadrachalam is also being released into the river without filtering. The devotees are complaining of stink near the bathing ghats.

Talking to The Hans India, Bhadrachalam legislator Sunnam Rajaiah expressed concern over the increasing pollution in the river. Thousands of people quench their thirst drinking the river water, but plastic material and other effluents are being discharged into the river. He demanded the State government to respond immediately and save the river from pollution. Mogili pointed out that oxygen content in the water was getting reduced because of the pollution and putting the lives of aqua species in jeopardy.

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