Ramagundam industrial area mired in pollution

A thermal power plant in Ramagundam area
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A thermal power plant in Ramagundam area

Highlights

The Ramagundam industrial area is mired in pollution making people suffer from chronic heart, respiratory and dermatological diseases. Excessive waste from industries, the release of toxic chemicals into the air, sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid in the water cause high concentrations of acid in the water.

Peddapalli: The Ramagundam industrial area is mired in pollution making people suffer from chronic heart, respiratory and dermatological diseases. Excessive waste from industries, the release of toxic chemicals into the air, sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid in the water cause high concentrations of acid in the water. Environmental researchers are demanding that the government respond and curb environmental pollution. Ramagundam Industrial Area is located in the Peddapalli district and is home to many industries. Within 30 km of Ramagundam town, there are about 13 industries including opencast miness up to Peddapalli, Mancherial, Mandamarri and Bellampalli.

Kesoram Cement Factory at Basanta Nagar, NTPC, Singareni Thermal Power Plant and Ramagundam Fertilizer Factory are located in Ramagundam. The smoke and dust emitted from these industries are completely polluting the environment.

The NTPC thermal power plant at Ramagundam will generate 2600 MW of electricity by burning 40,000 tons of coal per day. It contains 35 percent carbon, 45 per cent ash, 15 per cent volatile matter and 5 to 10 percent moisture.

About 15 percent of this volatile content is sulfur dioxide. It converts to sulfuric acid when combined with moisture in the air. It is extremely dangerous. It can have severe effects on the heart, lungs and kidneys causing tuberculosis and pneumonia.

Coal-burning produces ash and it is dumped by the factory owners in the Ramagundam pond near NTPC. In addition, the ash water from the factory is discharged and stored at nearby Kundanapally. The environment is severely polluted with opencast mines IN the Singareni industrial area. Extreme levels of dust and smoke are also emitted by vehicles moving coal, especially overburden (OB), and explosions triggered to extract coal.

The mounds of OB at opencast mines cause air quality standards to drop drastically with dust flow. By international standards, a typical 35-unit AQI (air quality standard) is a must. The government says there may be up to 75 units of AQI in our country. But in the Ramagundam industrial area, has an AQI of more than double that of 90 to 170 units. This leads to respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases. On the other hand industries, factories, coal mines, opencast mines release untreated effluent into the river Godavari.

The ash water enters the Ramagundam pond through NTPC and from there joins the Godavari river through a canal near Lingapuram. Untreated water flows directly into Janagama Pond and Sundilla Pond and from there to the Godavari. Contaminated water from RFCL is being discharged directly into the Godavari through the Malkapur Pond, next to the Corporation Office through the drainage next to the Godavarikhani Rajesh Theatre. Many people in Kundana Palli village are suffering from skin and gastrointestinal diseases besides damaging aquatic life in the Godavari

According to an environmental researcher D Umamaheswara Rao water, land and air in the area are severely polluted due to various industries. Steps must be taken for environmental protection. As industries are non-compliance with the standards, we approached the courts. We have already been able to file a petition in the court against the NTPC thermal power plant. We will also approach the court on the contamination caused by the open cast in the future, he said.

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