VIJAYAWADA: Decrying the official and unofficial encroachments of Krishna floodbanks and the resultant pollution of the river water, former RTI commissioner P Vijaya Babu said the government should respect the laws of the land and verdicts of the highest legal authorities in this regard.
Addressing mediapersons here on Sunday, the former RTI commissioner who floated Better Andhra Pradesh (BAP) to take up environmental and public issues, said encroachment of river bunds is a matter of serious concern. “It is unfortunate that every issue is taking political colour and it is being viewed from political angle. There is a need to view the issue in an apolitical manner,” he said, pointing out at various movements for the removal of official and unofficial encroachments on the Krishna floodplains getting fizzled out.
Citing a recent direction of the National Green Tribunal that no structure should be constructed within 500 metres of a river, he said it is rather shocking that the Chief Minister, who is supposed to uphold the laws is having his residence on the very banks of the Krishna river in violation of the rules. It is not just the Chief Minister’s residence, but there are several constructions on the river banks. “If one walks along the Krishna Karakatta, no proper drainage system is found. So, where are the effluents going? Obviously into the river,” he said.
According to him, in the recent sample testing conducted by a private organisation, the Krishna river water at the Prakasam Barrage, was found to be having 12 mg of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) per litre. In the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) test, the TDS levels should not be more than 2 mg and if it is 5 mg and above, the water is considered polluted. “So, people of Vijayawada, Guntur and neighbouring places are consuming polluted water. Despite chlorination, there is no way to determine that all the bacteria in those treated water have been eliminated,” he said, while underlining the removal of encroachments on floodbanks.