The Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) claimed on Wednesday that it had found two chemical units to be dumping effluents into a nearby drain illegally through underground pipelines.

However, the issue is bigger than what meets the eye as the groundwater in the area has remained highly polluted by industrial waste for decades.TSPCB has been digging, on a tip off, adjacent to Venkateshwara Chemicals and Tagoor Chemicals since three days and has discovered pipelines that run from the two units till a nearby drain. The companies manufacture Drug Intermediaries, which are sold to well known pharmaceutical companies for developing the final medicine.

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The pollution control board has alleged that the two chemical companies, owned by the same person, are releasing effluents from their units through the pipelines into the drain. The water from this drain reaches Hussainsagar and further ends in Musi river. However, when Express visited the spot on Thursday when the digging was still on, reddish-black coloured liquid emanating a strong unbearable stench, could be seen oozing out – not from the pipelines but from ground beneath the two chemical companies. If the version of a senior operations official of the two chemical companies is to be believed, the oozing liquid is not effluents but groundwater.

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He said, “The pipelines were laid by the company which started functioning in 2008. However, in 2010 the then Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board came to know of the pipelines and penalised the companies. Since then we have been sending the effluents from our units to the Jeedimetla effluent treatment plant. The dark liquid oozing is actually groundwater. Anywhere if you dig in Jeedimetla industrial area you can come across such groundwater that too at a distance of 5-10 feet from the ground.”

TSPCB officials denied the company officials’ claim. TSPCB environment engineer Kumar Pathak said, “It is not groundwater that is seeping. Samples have been collected of effluent oozing from the ground where we dug up. It will be tested and will be matched with the effluent sample collected from the company. If it matches then the company will be shut down. We have already established that the pipelines run from the company till the drain.”

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When KhabarLive checked with some locals of Jeedimetla, they said that groundwater in the area is indeed of the kind that was oozing out from ground beneath the two chemical companies. #KhabarLive