Snow-like chemical foam haunts Kukatpally again

According to activist Dr Lubna Sarwath, the root cause of the foaming is pollution of the Pariki Cheruvu, which joins the Kukatpally nala that drains into Hussainsagar.
Image used for representation purpose. (Express Illustrations)
Image used for representation purpose. (Express Illustrations)

HYDERABAD: After heavy rains lashed the city, the mixing of rainwater, sewage and chemical effluents from industries led to snow-like chemical foam appearing in the residential areas in Kukatpally. Activists have raised concerns about the issue not being addressed despite it becoming a frequent phenomenon.

According to activist Dr Lubna Sarwath, the root cause of the foaming is pollution of the Pariki Cheruvu, which joins the Kukatpally nala that drains into Hussainsagar. As the Gajularamaram dumping yard is situated upstream of Pariki Cheruvu, the water gets polluted, she said.

Sarwath claimed that the proper segregation of waste isn’t carried out at the Gajularamaram dumping yard. The repeated foaming is a “total collapse” of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and the Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB), she alleged.

Independent public policy expert Donti Narasimha Reddy told TNIE that foaming indicates the presence of industrial surfactants (also called surface-active agents). “Presence of surfactants and the churning action of water causes water to foam,” he said. Narasimha Reddy said that exposure to foam may cause a host of physical ailments such as skin reactions, breathing issues and lung-related problems.

Industrial-scale chemical treatment is required to remove contaminants, Narasimha Reddy suggested. “Such technology is not only expensive but will also take up a lot of space. Decentralised treatment is required to reduce costs,” he stated.

“It is important that the TSPCB conducts studies on the phenomenon like it was done in Bengaluru’s Bellandur Lake, establish reasons, and take legal action against polluting industries,” said Narasimha Reddy. Despite multiple attempts, TNIE was unable to reach TSPCB officials for a comment on the issue.

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