Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding Musi river pollution, Hyderabad, Telangana, 06/12/2019

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Mohammed Nayeem Pasha & Others Vs The State of Telangana & Others dated 06/12/2019 regarding remedial action against pollution of river Musi at Hyderabad, Telangana which is reported to be contaminated due to industrial and domestic sewage discharged into the river or into the drains connected thereto. The industries in the catchment areas are bulk drug and pharmaceutical units.

Further allegation is that the flood plain zones are encroached and there is also dumping of Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste and solid waste. Water quality is not even fit for irrigation as per water quality criteria of CPCB as per reports of samples of water.

CPCB Reports: 

The CPCB report of June 28, 2019 indicated that only 49% of the sewage generated in the city is treated and remaining 51% of untreated sewage is discharged directly into the River Musi. The STPs are not granted with the Consents under the Water Act and 5 STPs are found to be not complying with the discharged norms out of 20 operational STPs. The STPs need up-gradation as applicable to meet with the standards with reference to faecal coliform and the treated water will have to be utilized for the non-portable use.

Likewise, the CPCB report of November 18, 2019 mentions the Quick Hygienic Survey carried out by engaging Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS). The purpose of the survey was to design quick method of detection of pathogenic bacteria. The method developed by BITS which has been witnessed by scientists of CPCB and Telangana SPCB, should now be further worked out for appropriate mechanism to adopt the method, so that it can be widely used to carry out survey of Indian rivers. The method should follow a standardized protocol and its procedures should be in inconsonance and matchable with the internationally adopted standard methods, the NGT said..

The BITS-Pilani study found that "out of the 14 antibiotics tested, Multi Drug Resistance (resistance to 2 or more antibiotics) was observed at the rate of 29% at Nagole, in Klebsiella spp. (4/14 equivalent to 28.57%) to 93% at Pillaipalli in Pseudomonas spp. (13/14 equivalent to 93%) against frontline antibiotics. Several strains of Staphylococcus spp. showed very high resistance ranging from 79% to 86% indicating an alarming pan-drug resistance like situation. Out of 90 bacterial strains isolated from 54 water samples all fall in multi drug resistance (MDR) and some even fall in Extensively Drug Resistance (XDR) category."

The NGT directed necessary remedial steps to be taken by the Urban Development Department, Telangana, Municipal Corporation, Hyderabad and the TSPCB. The nodal agency would be the TSPCB for the purpose.

The CPCB has been asked to validate the Right Biotic system for Quick Hygienic Survey of rivers by seeking opinion of experts on the subject rather than referring it to the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India for its adoption in the country.