Sewage, garbage & medical waste kill thousands of fish in Potharaju Kunta lake

The reason is not the release of industrial effluents but dumping of household and biomedical waste that led to the disaster.

Published: 31st October 2017 02:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st October 2017 06:36 PM   |  A+A-

Dead fish lying on the shore of Potharaju Kunta lake

Express News Service

MEDAK : Thousand of dead fish were found floating at Potharaju Kunta lake, at Annaram village in Sangareddy district on early Monday morning. However, unlike other recent cases, the reason is not the release of industrial effluents but dumping of household and biomedical waste that led to the disaster. Untreated sewage from a gated community was also being released into the lake. “We were shocked when we went fishing in the morning,” says D Veeraswamy, Vice President of Annaram Fishermen Cooperative Society(FCS). “There were thousands of dead fish. The impact is likely to continue for few more days killing more fish and other organisms in the lake.”  

The Telangana State Pollution Control Board, after preliminary inspection, has zeroed in on two possible causes ­— dumping of household waste from Annaram village mixed with biomedical waste from nearby hospitals on the banks of the lake and untreated sewage let into the waters from Prakruthi Nivas. 
This, they said, could have resulted in a decline of dissolved oxygen in the water causing fish to suffocate to death. The officials are planning to send notices to  Annaram gram panchayat and Prakruthi Nivas residents welfare association.

Medical waste dumped at the lake shore in
Sangareddy on Monday | R Satish Babu

It was just weeks ago that the fisheries department released about 20,000 fishlings into the lake, said Veeraswamy. “Before that our society released about 50,000 fishlings. Now all of them are dead or toxic.” 
Annaram village has about one thousand households from where garbage is collected by the Gram Panchayat and dumped right on the lake’s shore. 

On inspection, it was found that highly hazardous biomedical waste like needles, syringes, vials of vaccines and medicines were being dumped there. It’s worth mentioning that a well-known multi-specialty hospital is located few kilometers away from the lake in Suranam. Villagers said that on Sunday night, a huge load of garbage was pushed from the shore into the lake by an earthmover.  Prakruthi Nivas, a gated community with 612 villas housing more than 2,500 people has been letting out untreated sewage into Potharaju Kunta for many months. 

Many of its residents are former air force, government and IT employees, businessmen and even senior management officials of pharma companies. When Express visited, the residents’ association claimed to have a functional Sewage Treatment Plant. However, that claim was proven to be a lie by TSPCB officials who inspected the apartment complex. 

The STP unit of the residential complex has been non-operational for a long time now. Lakhs of liters of sewage from the gated community flows into the lake on a daily basis. 
Interestingly, the same housing society was caught in the backfoot for not having a sewage treatment plant 8-9 years ago. Also, the Annaram village sarpanch lives in that gated community. 


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