Residents raise a stink over foul smell from Harina Vanasthali park

Residents raise a stink over foul smell from Harina Vanasthali park

Children are getting directly affected with severe health problems

Hyderabad: The Harina Vanasthali National Park in Autonagar, nestled within the city, is currently grappling with the continuous discharge of contaminated water, comprising industrial effluents. This worrisome situation has been significantly impacting the nearby residents, causing them considerable discomfort. On Sunday, a group of concerned locals took a stand against this persistent issue, expressing their frustration through a peaceful protest. The release of this polluted water has become a recurrent source of inconvenience, affecting the daily lives of those living in the vicinity, prompting these individuals to voice their concerns and advocate for a solution to mitigate the ongoing problem.

Speaking to The Hans India, Manoj Vidyala, co-founder of Dha3R NGO says, “The concerning issue lies in the release of chemically composed water directly into the forested area instead of being channeled into the Musi River. Despite the establishment of a sewage water treatment plant (STP), aimed at addressing this challenge, it has failed to deliver an effective solution. The primary goal of the STP was to redirect and purify the discharged water, yet regrettably, this objective remains unmet. Currently, only half of the polluted water undergoes testing procedures, while the remaining portion goes unexamined, exacerbating the environmental impact and raising significant uncertainties about its composition and potential hazards.”

While official statistics on the prevalence of any major flu outbreak among the local population are currently unavailable, a concerning trend has emerged. A significant portion of the local populace is consistently experiencing flu-like symptoms, posing serious health challenges. Despite the absence of documented data, the frequency of these symptoms among residents is causing substantial distress and potential risks to their well-being. The absence of official records does not negate the reality of the situation, as the recurring nature of these health issues warrants attention and concern, signaling a potential threat to the overall health and safety of the affected individuals.

Another co-founder, Venkat Ankam, Dhar3R says, “The environmental degradation in this scenario involves various stakeholders, with actions by the Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (TSIIC) playing a pivotal role. The TSIIC unilaterally established a sewage pipeline from their industrial zone to the park without seeking authorisation from crucial governing bodies such as the GHMC, PCB, and the water Department. Alarmingly, this was executed without consulting any officials, including the forest Department authorities, exacerbating the challenges faced by the area.”

This emerged as a major challenge, as it not only impacts the park but also leads to the contamination of underground water sources. Despite the guidelines issued by the Pollution Control Board (PCB) and the subsequent construction of the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) under the guidance of GHMC, the core issue remains unresolved. Even post-STP implementation, only a fraction of the discharged water undergoes testing, creating an ongoing concern about the extent of pollution and the efficacy of the implemented measures in tackling this problem.

Santhana Selvan, from the bicycling community of Hyderabad, who participated in the protest says, “When I visited the place along with my team on Sunday, it was quite distressing to witness the situation firsthand.

The discharge of chemical-laden water from the pipeline poses a serious threat to the lives of the nearby residents, highlighting the imminent danger posed by this unchecked contamination.

Additionally, the adverse effects on the surrounding forest are evident through the drying up of numerous trees and a notable absence of greenery.

Beyond the environmental impact, the health implications are concerning, particularly for children who are experiencing recurring respiratory problems due to these hazardous conditions. Addressing not only the immediate health concerns but also the long-term sustainability of water resources is crucial in averting further risks and safeguarding the well-being of both the community and the ecosystem.”

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