Madhurawada in Visakhapatnam is officially one of India’s dirtiest and contaminated places. Maheswaram in Hyderabad and Madhurawada have been added to the list of dirtiest places in India after these areas were found to have heavy metal contamination in their soil, groundwater and surface water.
Out the officially declared 320 contaminated sites by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana feature in the top 11. Both the states failed to take up bioremediation measures in many areas due to factors like land litigations and lack of funds. The Greater Hyderabad featured on the list nine times.
The list (in order) consists of Noor Mohammed Kunta in Katedan Industrial Estate, Musi River in Hyderabad, Patancheru and Asani Kunta lake in Medak, Maheswaram and Chevella Industrial area in Ranga Reddy, L B Nagar Industrial area, Moula Ali Industrial Area, Gundlapochampally Industrial Area, Rithwik Energy plant in Chittoor and Madhurawada in Visakahapatnam
A report titled ‘Inventory and Mapping of Probably Contaminated Sites in India’ states that water bodies and industrial estates in the country are the most affected. The same is due to the dumping of effluents and hazardous waste at these sites. Nickel, cobalt, copper, zinc, cadmium, chromium and lead pollutants were found in Maheswaram in Hyderabad.
Madhurawada however is even worse as the area has both industrial and residential population resulting in a deadly mercury contamination in the water. Rithwik Energy Systems in Rachagunneri in Chitoor District has been identified as being highly contaminated too.
The sites have been identified based on reports put together by AP Pollution Control Board, EPTRI, Central Pollution Control Board and Blacksmith Institute. Bioremediation has failed in water bodies like Noor Mohammed Kunta, leaving the site contaminated long back. While the TSPCB had funding from World Bank for cleansing the site, locals approached the court stating it’s their land, putting the project on hold.
Two phases of bioremediation has been completed at Manasni Kunta Lake and the Musi River is 50% treated. The contamination levels at Patancheru have also gone done.