‘Spas, water rides, and swimming pools contaminate the water source'

It is a source of drinking water for thousands and a source of livelihood for hundreds. Bhavani Island is situated in the heart of the tail-pond of Prakasam Barrage.

The hasty development of turning Bhavani Island into a tourist attraction with spas, swimming pools, and water rides will lead to increased pollution and contamination.

Environmentalists are worried that the swimming pool and water rides will need a lot of water.

Being in the tail pond of the barrage, there will be no shortage of water, but the water taken from the river has to be chlorinated before being used in the pool and for the rides.

While it is easy to chlorinate the water, it is very expensive to de-chlorinate it. The obvious solution to this problem is to dump the chlorinated water into the river.

The pollution generated from the spa, resort, and restaurants are going to add to the pollution from the swimming pool despite the effluent treatment plant that has been planned, they say.

‘Water quality suffers'

The quality of water in the barrage tail pond affects thousands who consume it as drinking water in Vijayawada, Eluru, Guntur, and Machilipatnam and hundreds of villages in four districts. But, the quality of water also affects directly the livelihood of hundreds of fishermen who eke out living on the catch.

Fisherman Chintala Potha Raju says there are at least 10,000 families depending on the tail pond from Krishna and Guntur districts for a livelihood.

Earlier, fresh water prawns were available in the waters.

Two out of the five varieties of fish that were once available have disappeared.

The Bhavani Island is home to several local water birds which nest on the trees. The increased activity is bound to disturb them.