MAC: Mines and Communities

Dirty water likely to affect many

Published by MAC on 2004-01-31

Dirty water likely to affect many

P Balu - Times India New Network

January 31, 2004

Hyderabad: Water from the Nagarjunasagar reservoir, which has been found to contain radioactive materials in excess of the limits prescribed by the World Health Organisation, is not only the hope for quenching the thirst of Hyderabadis, but also entwined with the lives of nearly two crore people living downstream of the reservoir along the river Krishna.

The number of people exposed to the radionuclides from the reservoir water is nearly a quarter of the population of Andhra Pradesh.

The technical committee that looked into various aspects of the Uranium Corporation of India Limited's application for starting mining operations in places close to the reservoir, had said that the radionuclides in the water were more than the WHO-permitted 2 micrograms per litre of water.

It is the Krishna water - as it flows downstream of the Nagarjunasagar dam through the right and left canals - that irrigates nearly 9.81 lakh acres of farmland. The river is also the source of drinking water for many villages, Tenali, Guntur towns and Vijayawada .

In addition, inland fisheries in the reservoir generates an output of nearly 70 tonnes a year. Though no studies have been conducted on the presence of radionuclides in the fish, studies in other countries have shown that fish accumulate such radioactive particles in their body that are ingested by those who eat them.

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