The environmental mayhem continues. No fresh air to breathe, water bodies turned into cesspools of pollution and quietude waging a losing battle against din.

Over the years, an apathetic government and administration and equally indifferent citizens contributed to the rising pollution and plummeting environmental standards in the city.

Once, not long ago, a mention of pollution conjured images of chimneys of industries billowing dark smoke and stained and noxious effluents flowing down into the nearby water bodies. But the sharp increase in the number of vehicles has not only brought air pollution into the city’s heart but also ended up shattering its tranquillity.

Unending rounds of conferences and symposia and a slew of announcements by the administration have failed to contain the defiling of air and water. The key parameters of ambient air continue to take a beating amid caution by worried experts on the possible health impacts from it.

Passing the buck, lack of coordination between different departments and an absence of clear understanding of their tasks add to the woes of the citizens. Apart from the APPCB, others such as Transport, Civil Supplies, Traffic and Police have the responsibility to act on pollution.

Checking noise levels entails the role of more than one department, but no coordinated effort has been taken in the city so far. Similar is the situation with regard to pollution of air and water bodies. The phasing out of old vehicles and regular monitoring of old government vehicles, though announced, did not take off in right earnest.

At the same time, issues related to safe handling of bio-medical waste generated by scores of hospitals, maternity homes, clinics and diagnostic centres are yet to be addressed effectively. Even as the city is still to cope with the existing pollution issues and put in effective measures, fresh problems such as the high generation of e-waste have come to trouble it.

Along with Gujarat and Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh is in the top three hazardous waste generating states, and a major share of this is contributed by the city and immediate surroundings.

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