Telangana

Panel to look into groundwater pollution charge

Locals complain to TSPCB about Divi’s Labs pumping pharma effluents into the ground

Based on several complaints by locals and observations by experts that Divi’s Laboratories Limited at Choutuppal was allegedly causing groundwater pollution, the Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) has directed the District Collector of Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri to constitute a multi-disciplinary committee to study the situation.

“Divi’s has been pumping pharma effluents into the ground through dug borewells, and is not using the Zero Liquid Discharge technology. The water has become unfit for consumption and agriculture. Both human and animal lives are in danger,” have been the major allegations, the PCB noted.

The multi-disciplinary committee will have representatives from the Revenue, Agriculture, Ground Water Board, the TSPCB and experts from Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) or National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), and it will conduct the study in consultation with the public, the letter read.

According to a few petitioners who received their copy on Tuesday, more than 135 persons from Thangadapally, Gujja, Aregudem and Katrevu villages in and around Choutuppal, besides environment organisations, had represented to the PCB about the “toxic condition” of air, water and soil due to pharmaceutical pollution. And, thousands of aggrieved residents are also in Panthangi, Gundlabavi, Chinnakonduru, Lakkaram and Lingojigudem, where Divi’s Laboratories Limited is located, on the NH-65 (Hyderabad-Vijayawada) stretch near Choutuppal.

Environmentalists press that the situation in Choutuppal “is a visible case of human rights violations, as residents are deprived of clean water, air and soil.” Paryavarana Parirakshana Samithi, one of the organisations leading the cause, had also approached the National Human Rights Commission and filed a case for investigation recently, they say.

Following complaints, inspections by PCB were conducted in November 2019 and January 2020, and a task force committee meeting was held with all stakeholders in February. The PCB not only instructs the committee for assessment of the extent of contamination, and damage to persons, animals and lands, but also entrusts it to make compensation recommendations by invoking ‘polluter pays principle’, within three months.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2020 4:29:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/panel-to-look-into-groundwater-pollution-charge/article31093269.ece

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