Hyderabad: The Telangana fisheries department has written to the Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) to check the water quality in 118 water bodies in certain districts for the state for possible contamination.
The water bodies, primarily irrigation tanks, are likely to have been contaminated by industrial pollution, dumping of garbage and sewage water, said a senior official from the Fisheries department, who did not want to be quoted.
The letter was sent to the TSPCB last week.
“They have already responded to us, asking on what parameters they should test the water bodies," he told Mint. The 118 water bodies are located in about 10 districts out of 31 in Telangana, he added.
The development comes a few weeks after the TSPCB penalized 18 industrial units in Sanga Reddy district, about 50km from Hyderabad, for letting contaminated water into the Gandigundem lake. Thousands of fish—120 tonnes, worth Rs1 crore—perished in the contaminated water.
The TSPCB imposed a penalty of Rs1.03 crore on 18 units, after it received complaints about Gandigundem and another lake called Ayyamma Medka district on 4 and 5 October. For Gandigundem lake, it directed the fine amount to be paid to the members of the Fishermen Cooperative Society there. It also ordered a fine of Rs40,000 to be paid by another 11 industrial units as compensation to fishermen at Ayyamma lake. All the 29 industrial units are situated near the catchment areas of the two lakes.
“The 118 water bodies about which we have written to the TSPCB were primarily irrigation tanks, but due to urbanization in nearby areas they are presently being used for re-charging ground water," said the official. He added that apart from industrial pollution, dumping of garbage and letting in sewage into water bodies are a major cause for concern with regard to the contamination.
According to another senior official from the fisheries department, Telangana has about 24,000 water bodies, most of which are secure. Among the fish that are bred in the state, the Katla, Rohu, Brigala and common carp are the most common, she added. “In the list we sent to the TSPCB, we have provided details of each water body, as we found out about possible contamination based on field reports," she said, requesting anonymity.
When contacted, a TSPCB official, who also did not want to be named, said that like in the case of the Gandigundem lake, a committee will be set-up to assess the issue. “Based on the committee’s findings on the analysis we get on the water quality, action will be taken," he stated.
A press release dated 20 October from the TSPCB also stated that the body had served closure notices on 14 industrial units in the Khazipally industrial area near Hyderabad for violating rules.