Severe concern over the alarming increase in air, water and noise pollution under the GHMC limits echoed the Telangana Assembly on Tuesday and the members called for immediate measures to contain the situation before it goes from bad to worse.
Admitting that the pollution levels in the city was causing concern to the State government too, Minister for Municipal Administration K.T. Rama Rao conceded to the demand for calling a meeting of city legislators to discuss various ways and means to tackle the problem urgently.
Replying to supplementary questions of MIM members, who had raised the issue in the House during question hour, the Municipal Administration Minister asserted that the State government was committed to contain various forms of pollution. Ipso facto, Hyderabad was relatively better than other cities in the country in the matter of pollution and has been rated as one of the best cities for living. The Central Pollution Control Board, which studied the pollution problem in 21 different centers in Hyderabad had found that it was moderate to satisfactory.
KTR pointed out that one of the factors leading to seriousness of the problem was the presence of polluting industries and called for their immediate shifting. As many as 1,545 such polluting industries were identified and would be shifted out of the city in a phased manner by 2017. For the purpose of shifting and relocating these units, 19 places have been identified, he explained.
Regarding water pollution, KTR explained that as per the monitoring data available, water contamination was mainly due to discharge of untreated sewage. To improve the water quality, interception and diversion of nalas and providing STPs have to be taken up. This was being looked into by the HMWS&SB, HMDA and GHMC authorities, he said, adding that the government was considering to set up a water and sewerage treatment plant at an estimated cost of Rs 1,240 crore.
Hyderabad Clean Air Authority soon
Referring to the clean air conditions prevailing in Tokyo City of Japan due to the steps initiated by the Tokyo Clean Air Authority, KTR said the Telangana Government was also seriously considering to set up Hyderabad Clean Air Authority to tackle the air pollution problem. As regards the noise pollution, the police and Road Transport authorities are dealing with the issue, including implementing strictly rules for imposing penalty and prosecutions.
Speaking earlier on the issue, MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi pointed out that it was high time the government wake up to the alarming situation before it goes from bad to worse. He said as per reports, Hyderabad stood at the 24th place in Asia in the matter of air pollution. He said due to serious pollution conditions, the number of Asthma patients in the city were on the rise. What is more alarming was that the pollution level in the TB Hospital area in Sanathnagar is stated to be the highest, he observed. He also stressed the need for educating the people regarding garbage pollution. (NSS)