Five identified polluted river stretches in Andhra Pradesh

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Noting that river pollution has been increasing over the years due to the discharge of untreated and partially treated domestic and industrial effluents, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forest Babul Supriyo said that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has identified five polluted river stretches in Andhra Pradesh. These include Krishna (Amaravati to Hamsaladeevi), Godavari (Rayanpet to Rajahmundry), Kundu (Nandyal to Madduru), Tungabhadra (Mantralayam to Bavapuram) and Nagavali (along Thotapalli).

In reply to a question posed by YSRC MP Lavu Srikrishna Devaraya in Lok Sabha on Friday, the minister noted that the stretches were identified based on the Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) levels, a key indicator of organic pollution, in the rivers. “As per report of CPCB published in September 2018, five polluted stretches on rivers namely: Kundu (Nandyal to Madduru),Tungabhadra (Manthralayam to Bavapuram), Godavari (Rayanpeta to Rajahmundry), Krishna (Amravathi to Hamsala Deevi), and Nagavali (Along Thotapalli), have been identified in Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

To a sub-query if any special assistance was allotted in the budget, the minister noted that a budget allocation of Rs196 crore has been made in the current financial year for taking up river pollution abatement works in various states, but no proposal was sought by the government of Andhra Pradesh for financial assistance for pollution abatement works in the identified polluted river stretches under the National River Conservation Plan (NCRP).

In Rajya Sabha, Congress MP KVP Ramachandra Rao sought to know if there were any pending funds to be released by the Centre to Andhra Pradesh under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA). To this, Union minister for Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar said release of funds was a continuous process and that the Centre was committed to make funds available in view of the demand of work.

The minister, when asked about the central funds released over the last four years to the State, explained that funds released to the State has been on the rise. He said that `3.07 lakh crore in 2015-16, `3.94 lakh crore in 2016-17, `5.12 lakh crore in 2017-18 and `6.71 lakh crore in 2018-19 were released.  

To another question by KVP on the railway projects underway in Andhra Pradesh, Railway Minister Piyush Kumar said, as on April 1, 2019, 17 new line projects covering a length of 2027.44 km at a cost of `25,767.39 crore and 14 doubling projects covering a length of 2648.51 km at a cost of `26,608.42 crore -- falling fully and partly in AP, were in different stages of planning/sanction/execution.

“Out of this, 186 km new line and 79.17 km doubling have been commissioned and an expenditure of `7,921.98 crores has been incurred till March this year.Further, an outlay of `2,921.88 crore has been proposed for these projects for the year 2019-20,” he explained.

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