This week, Kelavarapalli dam received a steady rise in the inflow of water from across the border due to the heavy rains in Karnataka. The water was a frothy, foamy mix causing conjectures to run rife that industrial effluents were being washed down the river and into the dam from the across the border by the rain.
On Friday, the water level in the dam was 41.33 ft of its total capacity of 44.28 ft. The inflow into the dam was 760 cusecs, while the outflow into Thenpennai river from the dam was 820 ft.
Each year, the heavy rain washed down some environmental concerns along with the increased inflow into the dam. Each year, the dam witnessed routine spells of inflow of frothy mix of water, which the farmers dependent on the dam water for irrigation claimed was a result of industrial pollutants from units dotting the outskirts of the city along the waterways.
A few months ago, a team of analysts from the Pollution Control Board had drawn samples of Kelavarapalli dam water in compliance with the National Green Tribunal order to look into the matter.
According to Collector V. Jayachandra Bhanu Reddy, the chemical analysis of the sample indicated that the frothy water was a result of untreated sewerage that got washed down the river from Karnataka and into the dam. “Whenever the untreated sewage got mixed with water, it affected the surface tension of water, causing a build-up of surface foam,” explained Dr. Reddy.
The findings have since been tabled before the NGT, says the Collector.
To a query if the untreated sewage water mixed in the inflow into the dam would affect the farmlands dependent on the waters for irrigation, the Collector said, "the impact on farmlands had not been studied or analysed".
Asked if the issue was taken up with the authorities across the border in Karnataka, Dr. Reddy said, “we believe they are already aware of it. Treatment plants are coming up on their side, but how many, how exactly are they coming up, with regard to all this, we have sought their response,” said the Collector.
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