Killers at large

  • 30/08/1999

There are several industrial units in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh (AP) that have directly or indirectly polluted groundwater. AP Pollution Control Board (APPCB) officials reveal that Reliance Cellulose is releasing effluents with very high chemical oxygen demand levels into a nearby stream. Standard Organics of Patancheru used to pump untreated effluents into a nearby stream. Birchow, a pharmaceutical company, was dumping sulphomethazole in the open. Today, say APPCB officials, all these companies are meeting environmental norms. "In fact, Birchow has acquired ISO 14001 certification,' they point out.

Durichan Textile Mills was dumping untreated effluents with high levels of sulphuric acid in an open stream 1.5 km away through a pipe. On July 17, 1999, APPCB found hexa-valent chromate dumped alongside the roads in Patancheru. After seeping into the groundwater, such pollutants can be lethal to those who drink the water. There are five units in the area that produce this waste, out of which three have internal landfill sites. Tishya Chatterjee, member secretary of APPCB, assures that the board will soon catch the culprit.

APPCB officials also reveal names of some other rogue units. They include Vantech Pesticides, Borin Laboratories, Kaikule and Reddy Labs. Two companies, Global Drugs and Saraka, were caught pumping effluents into a pond in Kazipally. Saraka is still sending effluent tankers to a nearby pond. Another company, Hetero Drugs, was caught dumping effluents near a pond.

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